Holtz Tosses No-Hitter As No. 25 UMass Softball Downs So. Mississippi, 2-0.
Feb. 24, 2002
COLUMBUS, Ga. -- The No. 25 UMass softball team defeated Southern Mississippi, 2-0, in the semifinal of the NFCA Leadoff Classic this afternoon, before dropping in the finals to Illinois-Chicago, 2-1. The Flames plated the winning run in the bottom of the seventh inning after UMass had tied the game in the top of the frame.
In the semifinal game against Southern Mississippi, junior ace Kaila Holtz (North Vancouver, British Columbia) tossed a no-hitter to lead the Minutewomen to a 2-0 victory.
The Minutewomen broke open a 0-0 tie in the fifth innning, scoring the only two runs of the game. Sophomore catcher Jamie Cahahlan (Mesa, Ariz.) led off with a single to right field. After a UMass strike out, designated hitter Nicole Wilson (Gaithersburg, Md.) reached on a fielder's choice, advancing pinch runner KC Budrewicz (Buckland, Mass.) to second. Pinch hitter Jessica Bartlett (Turners Falls, Mass.) then delivered a shot to center field to load the bases. Junior Emily Robustelli (Stamford, Conn.) hit into a fielder's choice but Southern Mississippi's catcher dropped the throw to the plate and Budrewicz was ruled safe. Senior Teri Rooney (Visalia, Calif.) extended the rally, driving the ball into right field, scoring Wilson.
Holtz struck out six and Auriel Jenkins' sixth innning walk was her only blemish in near perfect game.
Senior pitcher Jennifer Hadley (Bristol, Conn.) held Illinois-Chicago to just three hits, but took the 2-1 loss as the Minutewomen finished second in the finals of the Bronze medal bracket. UMass couldn't rally the bats as they recorded only two hits in the game.
The Flames got on board first, scoring a run in the bottom of the fourth on back-to-back singles to center field and a UMass error.
The Minutewomen responded with a run of their own in the seventh inning, taking advantage of two UIC errors. Senior Ashley Bakken (Phoenix, Ariz.) reached base on an error by the Flames' third basemen, and advanced to second base. Robustelli's hit then got by the left fielder, scoring Bakken and evening the score, 1-1.
In the bottom of the seventh, UIC manufactured the winning run, upsetting the No. 25 ranked Minutewomen and capturing the Bronze Championship title. UIC loaded the bases with no outs on a single, fielder's choice and walk. The Flames' Emily Hallman hit in the winning run on a fielder's choice.
Hadley gave up three hits over six innings,while walking three and striking out two. The Flames' Alison Aguilar gets the win, allowing just two hits and fanning eight Minutewomen. Robustelli and junior Brandi Cross (Diamond Bar, Calif.) recorded the only UMass hits of the game.
The Minutewomen return to action March 8-10 as they take part in the Florida State Tournament in Tallahassee, Fla. UMass will open play against Southeast Louisiana on March 8, at noon.