Softball Opens Season With An 8-0 Loss To #23 Texas A&M In Arizona
Feb. 13, 2005
PHOENIX, Ariz. - Behind a five-run third inning the 23rd-ranked Texas A&M Softball team (4-0) defeated the University of Massachusetts (0-1), 8-0 in five innings Sunday afternoon at the Kajikawa Classic. Massachusetts had its first four games rained out following several days of flooding rains in the Phoenix area. UMass was originally supposed to play No. 2 UCLA Sunday but a new schedule was created Saturday night to try and allow as many teams as possible to play.
In the top of the first, UMass tried to mount a two-out rally but were unable to score. Senior Hilary Puglia (Stoneham, Mass.) recorded the first hit of the season for the Minutewomen when she reached on an infield single. Puglia then moved to third base when junior KJ Kelley (Rainier, Ore.) doubled down the left field line. Both runners were stranded however as senior Denise Denis (Middle Grove, N.Y.) was unable to drive them home.
The Aggies were then able to score the game's first run in the bottom of the first courtesy of a walk, a sacrifice and an error. Adrian Gregory and Megan Gibson hit back-to-back home runs in the inning off UMass senior pitcher Barb LaFogg (Williamsburg, Mass.) to give Texas A&M a 3-0 lead after the first inning. The Aggies then broke the game wide open with five runs on four hits in the bottom of the third.
UMass had two and with nobody out in the top of the fourth as it tried to make a comeback, but were unable to score. Kelley led off the inning by reaching on an error and advanced to second. Denis then got hit by a pitch, but the next three batters were retired. UMass also put its first two batters on base in the top of the fifth but again were unable to score.
LaFogg gave up seven earned runs on four hits and three walks in 2.1 innings pitched. Junior Jenna Busa (Lexington, Mass.) then came in and gave up one earned run on three hits and two walks in 1.2 innings pitched. Busa also struck out two batters.
Puglia led the UMass offense by going 2-for-3. Kelley and sophomore Amanda Morin (Worcester, Mass.) also recorded a hit for the Minutewomen.
Massachusetts will return to action Feb. 25-27, at the prestigious NFCA Leadoff Classic on Columbus, Ga. The Minutewomen will face Georgia, Cal State Northridge and Nebraska in pool play before bracket play begins late on Saturday, Feb. 26.