Softball Splits Day 2 Of Speedline Invitational
March 11, 2005
CLEARWATER, Fla. - Massachusetts (5-7) improved to 2-1 at the Speedline Invitational by splitting a pair of games on the second day. The Minutewomen lost 7-2 to Jacksonville (11-15) in the opener, but came back to down BYU (13-2), 2-1, in the night cap. The Cougars are receiving votes in both top 25 polls.
Massachusetts got on the board in the top of the first inning courtesy of a solo home run off the bat of junior KJ Kelley (Rainier, Ore.). The two-out home run was her second of the year and gave UMass a 1-0 lead. In the bottom of the first inning, Jacksonville took a 2-1 lead when Lauren Redfern hit a two-run home run to left-center field off UMass junior pitcher Jenna Busa (Lexington, Mass.). The Dolphins then got another run in the bottom of the second inning after a hit batter, sacrifice and RBI single.
Jacksonville added to its lead in the third inning. A one-out double by Redfern drove in the fourth run of the game. Busa was able to get out of the inning without any further damage on two ground outs. In the fifth inning, UMass tried to start a two-out rally. A walk by freshman Lauren Proctor (Redmond, Wash.) and then a single by senior Hilary Puglia (Stoneham, Mass.) put two on with two outs, but sophomore Candice Molinari (Glendora, Calif.) grounded out to end the threat.
In the sixth inning, Kelley blasted the first pitch of the inning well over the left-field fence. It was her second home run of the game and brought the Minutewomen within two runs at 4-2. That would be all UMass could muster in the inning, however. Then in the bottom of the sixth, the Dolphins broke the game open. A bloop single, walk and a sacrifice put runners at second and third with one out. An infield single made it a 5-2 game and knocked Busa from the game. Senior Barb LaFogg (Williamsburg, Mass.) then entered the game in relief. LaFogg walked the first batter she faced and then a two-RBI double by Stephanie Farrabee broke the game wide open at 7-2. LaFogg struck out the next two batters to get out the inning without any further damage.
UMass went 1-2-3 in the top of the seventh and fell to 1-1 in pool play. Busa pitched 5.1 innings and allowed seven earned runs on seven hits and two walks. She did not strike out a batter.
In the second game of the day against BYU, the Cougars took a 1-0 lead in the top of the second when Ashlyn Russell hit a solo home run off LaFogg. The game turned into a pitcher's dual after that. UMass did not have a base runner in the first four innings, while LaFogg yielded just one single after the home run. She had nine strikeouts through five, including seven of nine batters at one point.
UMass junior Lesley Ferrara (Stamford, Conn.) broke up BYU pitcher Summer Tobias' perfect game with a one-out double down the right-field line in the bottom of the fifth inning. Proctor followed with a bloop single to center which moved freshman pinch runner Sarah Hurd (Warwick, R.I.) to third. The Minutewomen then executed a double-steal which tied the game. Proctor broke for home and when the throw went through, Hurd raced home. The throw by Jodi Norton at shortstop was wide and Proctor was able to move up to third. Tobias was able to get two straight ground outs to get out of the jam.
LaFogg came right back in the top of the sixth to retire the side in order marking 12 in a row that she retired. In the bottom of the inning, the Minutewomen tried to mount a two-out rally. Molinari ripped a triple into the right-centerfield gap bringing up Kelley with the go-ahead run at third. Kelley came through with a single up the middle which drove in Molinari and put UMass up 2-1.
In the top of the seventh, Russell had a one-out single for the Cougars. It snapped LaFogg's streak of 13 straight batters retired. LaFogg got out of the inning and preserved the win for UMass. She allowed four hits and did not walk a batter. LaFogg struck out 11 batters for her third double-digit strikeout performance of the season.
The Minutewomen will play their final game of pool play at the Speedline Invitational tomorrow against Illinois-Chicago. First pitch is slated for 12:00 PM. The teams will then be re-seeded based upon the pool play results. Bracket play begins tomorrow afternoon and continues through Sunday afternoon.