Softball Splits At Blue & Gold Classic
March 12, 2004
MIAMI, Fla. - The University of Massachusetts softball team (7-10) lost to Virginia Tech (15-6), 2-1, and defeated Miami University, 9-2, this afternoon in the first day of action at the Blue & Gold Coca-Cola Classic at Florida International University. Four different Minutewomen had three hits on the day, while sophomore Katie Jo Kelley (Rainier, Ore.) hit her fifth home run of the season against Miami.
In game one, UMass took a 1-0 lead in the top of third over Virginia Tech. Sophomore Kristi Stefanoni (Columbus, N.J.) worked a one-out walk and then stole second base. One batter later, she moved to third on a single by senior Aisha Franke (Philadelphia, Pa.). Junior Hilary Puglia (Stoneham, Mass.) then drove home Stefanoni with a sacrifice fly to center.
On the mound, junior Kelli Arnold (Kalama, Wash.) was again the victim of no run support. Her only blemish was in the bottom of the fourth when the Hokies scored both runs. Ashley Yeager had a two-RBI double down the first base line which drove in both runs. Arnold ended up with a complete game giving up five hits and two walks, but the UMass offense was unable to get anything going. She struck out four batters. Her counterpart, Katie Maynard, yielded six hits and a walk while fanning eight for the win.
The Massachusetts offense broke out in game two for a season-high nine runs on 11 hits en route to a 9-2 win over Miami of Ohio. Kelley gave the Minutewomen a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first with a home run over the center field fence. It was her team-leading fifth dinger of the season. After Miami tied the game in the top of the second, the Minutewomen exploded for five runs in the third. Puglia got it going with a one-out double and then scored when freshman Candice Molinari (Glendora, Calif.) tripled off the right field fence. After Kelley walked, senior Jamie Cahalan (Mesa, Ariz.) delivered a RBI single to right-center. A walk to senior KC Budrewicz (Buckland, Mass.) loaded the bases for freshman Amanda Acampora (Orange, Conn.). She walked as well to bring home another run. An error later in the inning brought home two more UMass runs and gave it a 6-1 lead.
UMass added another run in the fifth and two more in the sixth and that was more than enough for sophomore pitcher Jenna Busa (Lexington, Mass.). Busa struggled with her control for a bit, but finished out the game despite throwing 143 pitches. She gave up seven hits and seven walks while striking out five.
Molinari and Cahalan had three hits apiece for UMass against the Red Hawks. Cahalan drove in three runs, while senior Nicole Wilson (Gaithersburg, Md.) had two RBI. Kelley was 2-for-2 in the nightcap with a pair of RBI as well.
Massachusetts will continue play at the Blue & Gold Classic Saturday, March 13, when it takes on host school Florida International at 1:30 p.m. The four teams will then be seeded and bracket play begins tomorrow night. The tournament will run through Sunday.