Softball Downed By DePaul, 7-0
Feb. 27, 2004
COLUMBUS, Ga. - DePaul University (2-5) scored seven times in its final three at bats to hand the University of Massachusetts softball team (1-5) its fifth straight loss, 7-0, this afternoon in the first day of the NFCA Leadoff Classic. The Minutewomen, who won the tournament last year, left eight runners on base this afternoon.
The game remained scoreless through the first three innings, but it was the Minutewomen who had the best chances to score. In the first, freshman Candace Molinari (Glendora, Calif.) led off with a single but was thrown out trying to steal second base on a hit and run attempt. Sophomore Kristi Stefanoni (Columbus, N.J.) also struck out on the play. Sophomore KJ Kelley (Rainier, Ore.) drew a two-out walk, but junior Hilary Puglia (Stoneham, Mass.) struck out to end the inning.
Meanwhile, UMass sophomore pitcher Jenna Busa (Lexington, Mass.) cruised through the first two innings as she retired all six batters in a row. In the top of the third, the Minutewomen threatened again. Senior Aisha Franke (Philadelphia, Pa.) got a one out single and moved to second on a groundout by Molinari. Franke then advanced to third on a single by Stefanoni, but Kelley struck out to end the inning. In the fourth, Puglia led off with a double and was sacrificed to third by senior Jamie Cahalan (Mesa, Ariz.) but did not score.
In the DePaul fourth Saskia Roberson's two-out single brought home Christina Douglas. Douglas had reached on a fielder's choice with two outs and then stole second base. UMass had its final opportunity to score in the top of the fifth. Senior Nicole Wilson (Gaithersburg, Md.) led off with a walk and moved to second base with two outs when Stefanoni drew a walk. Both runners then scampered up a base on a passed ball to put the go-ahead run in scoring position, but Kelley struck out to end the threat.
The Blue Demons added one run in the bottom of the fifth and then five in the sixth to end any hopes of a UMass come-back attempt. The big blow was a two-out, three-run home run by Sarah Douglas off UMass junior pitcher Kelli Arnold (Kalama, Wash.). Arnold came in to start the inning. She allowed five earned runs and four hits while striking out one in her inning of relief. Busa yielded two earned runs on three hits and two walks while fanning two in five innings.
DePaul ace Sarah Martz went the distance allowing four UMass hits and five walks, but struck out 11 batters.
Massachusetts will take on the fifth-ranked University of Oklahoma Sooners at 5:00 this afternoon and then Central Michigan at 12:30 p.m. tomorrow afternoon to close out pool play.