Softball Tops North Carolina, 4-3
March 7, 2004
BOCA RATON, Fla. - Sophomore Katie Jo Kelley hit a three-run walk-off home run in the bottom of the seventh inning as UMass (6-8) came back to defeat North Carolina (12-9), 4-3, this morning in the FAU Worth Invitational.
UMass trailed 3-1 heading into the bottom of the seventh inning when Kelley blasted a game-winning three-run home run over the left-center field fence. It was her fourth round-tripper of the season. Both junior Hilary Puglia (Stoneham, Mass.) and freshman Candice Molinari (Glendora, Calif.) had led off the inning with singles in front of Kelley.
North Carolina took a 2-0 lead in the top of the first inning. Jessica Robinson gave the Tar Heels the lead with a two-out, two-run double into the left-center field gap. The Minutewomen got one of the runs back in the bottom of the inning. Puglia led off the frame with a double and then Molinari followed with an infield single. After Kelley struck out, senior Jamie Cahalan (Mesa, Ariz.) worked a walk to load the bases for senior KC Budrewicz (Buckland, Mass.). UNC pitcher Crystal Cox then settled down and recorded the final two outs.
The game remained 2-1 until UNC added an unearned run in the top of the seventh to take the two-run lead.
UMass junior pitcher Kelli Arnold (Kalama, Wash.) turned in a gutsy performance. She went the distance throwing 105 pitches. Arnold gave up 10 hits and two earned runs while walking three. She struck out four batters. UMass batters struck out 11 times and stranded eight runners on base.
The Minutewomen are currently playing Florida International in theor final game at the FAU Worth Invitational.