March 14, 2009
FORT MYERS, FL-Freshman right-hander Brittany Eldridge (Raynham, MA/Bridgewater-Raynham HS) earned the victory by pitching five innings in relief and holding the College of Wooster to two runs as the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth's softball team split their first two games of the season at the Gene Cusic Tournament at the Lee County Sports Complex Saturday. The Corsairs downed Wooster, 6-4, after dropping their opener to Eastern Nazarene, 8-4.
Eldridge, who started the nightcap at first base, gave the Corsairs a 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning with an infield out. Freshman Kaitlin Hogan (Tewksbury, MA/Shawsheen HS), who moved to first base when Eldridge took the mound, gave UMD a 3-2 advantage with a two-run single in the third. Junior third baseman Emily Surprenant (Attleboro, MA/Attleboro HS) drove in another run with a single, and a fourth run scored on an error. UMass Dartmouth took advantage of another error to take a 6-2 lead in the fourth, then held off the Fighting Scots the rest of the way. Eldridge, who relieved starter Ashley Puls (So. West Springfield, MA/West Springfield HS) after two innings, earned the victory and improved to 1-0. Katie Pifer took the loss for Wooster and fell to 0-4.
In the opener, the Crusaders rallied to score five times in the fifth inning and came from behind for the win. Senior right-hander Amie Nickerson (Wrentham, MA/King Philip HS), who relieved Eldridge on the mound in the fifth, took the loss and fell to 0-1. Hogan had a pair of hits for UMass Dartmouth, including a two-run single in the third, while Puls tripled home a run in the second inning.
"Overall, we hit well, we had some nice hits in each games, we turned a couple of double plays, and it was a good start, considering it was our first time seeing live pitching, since we haven't been able to go outside because of the weather," said UMass Dartmouth Head Coach Kelly Roy-Sale. "We could have won the first game as well."
UMass Dartmouth is now 1-1 after the split. ENC is 3-6, while Wooster is now 1-8. The Corsairs will play SUNY Brockport and Lasell Sunday.