Softball Splits Day One Of Doubletree Worth Invitational
March 5, 2005
BOCA RATON, Fla. - Senior pitcher Barb LaFogg (Williamsburg, Mass.) threw a three-hit shutout as Massachusetts (2-5) upset 22nd-ranked Florida International (15-6), 3-0, Saturday afternoon in the first game of the Doubletree Worth Invitational on the campus of Florida Atlantic University. LaFogg struck out 12 batters in the win. UMass then fell to Florida Atlantic, (7-17), 5-0, in the second game of the day.
Florida International's Tabitha Embry got the first hit of the game with a leadoff single in the bottom of the third inning. After a sacrifice bunt moved her into scoring position, LaFogg got out of the jam on a strikeout and a ground out. UMass got its first base runner in the top of the fourth inning when senior Hilary Puglia (Stoneham, Mass.) worked a two-out walk. Junior KJ Kelley (Rainier, Ore.) then doubled to center field which drove in Puglia with the game's first run. The double for Kelley was the first hit of the game for the Minutewomen against FIU pitcher Amanda Nealer.
UMass tried to get some insurance for LaFogg in the top of the fifth inning. Freshman Lauren Proctor (Redmond, Wash.) led off the frame with a single up the middle and was sacrificed to second base by junior Lesley Ferrara (Stamford, Conn.). Senior Pam Sulick (Mission Viejo, Calif.) then walked and Proctor moved to third base on a wild pitch. After Sulick stole second base to put two runners in scoring position, junior Kristi Stefanoni (Columbus, N.J.) struck out for the second out of the inning. Sophomore Amanda Morin (Worcester, Mass.) then singled to left field to drive in Proctor and give the Minutewomen a 2-0 lead. She was also able to move to second base on an error. Sophomore Candice Molinari (Glendora, Calif.) followed with a RBI single to right field to give UMass a 3-0 lead. Morin was thrown out at home trying to score from second base to end the inning.
FIU had a double in both the fifth and sixth innings, but LaFogg was able to get out of the jam.
Nealer worked the first four innings for the Golden Panthers. She allowed one run on four hits and a walk while striking out eight. Tiffany Ore pitched the final three innings and allowed two runs on four hits and a walk. She fanned two batters. LaFogg went the distance for her first shutout of the season. She scattered three hits and two walks while striking out 12. It marks her second double-digit strikeout game as she fanned a career-high 14 in a win against Cal State Northridge on Feb. 26.
Florida Atlantic scored twice with two outs in the top of the first inning and that would be all pitcher Candice Freel would need. UMass had two on with one out in the bottom of the inning after Molinari reached on an error and Puglia singled, but Freel was able to get out of the jam.
The Owls then added solo runs in the third, sixth and seventh innings to give Freel more than enough run support. LaFogg started the game and gave up three runs on four hits and a walk in three innings. Junior Jenna Busa (Lexington, Mass.) pitched the final four innings and gave up two runs on three hits and four walks. LaFogg fanned two batters while Busa had three strikeouts.
Freel scattered three hits and walked one while fanning six in the shutout. Puglia was 2-for-3 for the Minutewomen while Sulick had the other hit.
The Minutewomen will play Bethune Cookman Sunday morning at 9:00 a.m. to conclude pool play. The consolation game of the Doubletree Worth Invitational will be Sunday at 11:00 a.m. while the championship game is set for 1:00 p.m.