Softball Falls To #17 Nebraska, 3-1, At NFCA Leadoff Classic
Feb. 26, 2005
COLUMBUS, Ga. -- Sheena Lawrick was 3-for-3 with two doubles, a home run and two RBI to lead the 17th-ranked Nebraska softball team (8-3) to a 3-1 win over Massachusetts (1-3) Saturday morning in the final pool play game at the NFCA Leadoff Classic. The Minutewomen stranded nine runners and left the bases loaded in both the first and second innings.
UMass was able to get a 1-0 lead in the top of the first with a two-out rally. Senior Hilary Puglia (Stoneham, Mass.) got it started with a two-out single and moved to second base when junior KJ Kelley (Rainier, Ore.) reached safely on an error. Freshman Stacy Cullington (Encinitas, Calif.) then followed with a walk to load the bases. Freshman Lauren Proctor (Redmond, Wash.) drove in her second run in as many days with a RBI infield single to give UMass a 1-0 lead. Junior Lesley Ferrara (Stamford, Conn.) flied out to end the inning and leave the bases loaded.
Nebraska came right back in the bottom of the inning. Sheena Lawrick had a one-out, RBI double off UMass junior pitcher Jenna Busa (Lexington, Mass.). Busa then loaded the bases with one out, but was able to get out of the jam with just one additional run scoring. Kira Boerkircher delivered a RBI single to give the Huskers a 2-1 lead.
UMass came right back to load the bases with one out in the top of the second inning as senior Pam Sulick (Mission Viejo, Calif.), junior Kristi Stefanoni (Columbus, N.J.) and sophomore Candice Molinari (Glendora, Calif.) each singled. After Puglia popped out on the infield, Kelley then flied out to left field to end the threat as UMass left the bases loaded for the second straight inning.
Lawrick struck again for Nebraska in the bottom of the third. Her leadoff home run to right-center field gave NU a 3-1 lead.
Busa settled down after the Lawrick home run, but the UMass offense was unable to get going again. UMass had just four base runners after the second innings and nobody got past second base.
Busa went the distance allowing three earned runs on seven hits and three walks. She struck out two batters. Ashley DeBuhr got the win for Nebraska surrendering one unearned run on seven hits and two walks. She fanned three. Proctor was 2-for-3 for the Minutewomen.
Massachusetts concludes pool play 1-2 and will now wait until the 12:30 PM games are over to see which bracket it moves onto and who the opponent will be. Bracket play begins this afternoon at 4:00 PM and continues tonight through tomorrow. The top team from each pool will advance to the Gold Championship. In addition, two other at-large teams will be selected. The remaining second-place teams, in addition to four at-large teams, will be chosen for the Silver Championship. The Bronze Championship will be comprised of the remaining eight teams. All brackets will be single elimination/consolation.
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