Softball Upsets #12 Michigan At NFCA Leadoff Classic
Feb. 24, 2012
CLEARWATER, Fla. - The UMass softball team split this Friday on day one of the NFCA Leadoff Classic in Clearwater Fla., upsetting #12 Michigan 1-0 and falling to DePaul 8-0. Sara Plourde threw 20 strikeouts over the course of the day, 16 of which came in the win over Michigan. UMass moved its record to 4-3 on the season and 1-1 against teams ranked in the Top 25. The Minutewomen will face #20/17 Georgia Tech at 1 p.m. and Illinois at 6 p.m. tomorrow.
The Minutewomen started off slow in their second game of the day with three straight innings of three up, three down play. Michigan came out swinging, however, and got one of its two hits in the second inning when Nicole Sappingfield reached first on of a nicely placed ball in shallow centerfield.
UMass got the bats swinging in the fourth when Cyndil Matthew hit a double you can attribute to her speed. After Matthew moved to third on a groundout by Kyllie Magill, Katie Bettencourt singled down the left side to score Matthew, giving the Minutewomen their winning run.
An impressive performance on the mound from Plourde kept the Minutewomen alive, especially in the seventh inning, where she struck out three batters to end the game and seal the victory.
UMass didn't fare as well earlier in the day in their game against DePaul. The Blue Demons struck early and often, scoring a run in the top of the first off of a throwing error by catcher Stephanie Mayne.
DePaul scored two more in the second, the first off of a double that sent in the runner on second base and the second off of a series of wild pitches, bringing the score to 3-0.
The third inning brought three runs, the first was walked in and the next two were due to a pair of singles, giving the Blue Demons a 6-0 lead. The fourth inning was the only inning DePaul didn't score.
In the fifth inning, two runs were scored off of illegal pitches from Bridget Lemire, bringing the score to 8-0 and ending the game.
Follow along with the action on the UMass Softball live blog, which can be found on UMassAthletics.com.