Softball Falls To No. 10/9 Baylor, 10-2, In Speedline Invitational Semifinal
March 13, 2005
CLEARWATER, Fla. - No. 10/9 Baylor (30-3) scored nine unearned runs en route to a 10-2 win in six innings over Massachusetts (7-8) Sunday afternoon in the semifinals of the Speedline Invitational. The Minutewomen finished the tournament with a 4-2 record and in third-place.
Both teams squandered chances in the first inning with runners on first and second with one out. UMass again had two runners on with one out and this time it was able to break into the scoring column. Infield singles by junior Kristi Stefanoni (Columbus, N.J.) and sophomore Candice Molinari (Glendora, Calif.) put runners on first and third. Then with junior KJ Kelley (Ranier, Ore.) at the plate and an 0-1 count, Millineries broke for second base. When the throw went through, Stefanoni raced home and slid around the tag. The double-steal put UMass up 1-0. Kelley singled two pitches later, but Molinari was thrown out when she rounded third base. Senior Denise Denis (Middle Grove, N.Y.) struck out to end the inning.
In the bottom of the inning, Baylor took the lead. Following two consecutive errors by senior Pam Sulick (Mission Viejo, Calif.) at third base, Tessa Lynam hit a three-run home run to give the Bears a 3-1 lead. Two more errors by the Minutewomen allowed another unearned run. All told, Baylor scored four unearned runs in the inning off four UMass errors in the bottom of the third.
Sulick led off the top of the fourth inning by doubling to the left-centerfield gap, but three straight strikeouts got Baylor pitcher Cristin Vitek out of the jam.
In the top of the fifth, a solo home run by senior Hilary Puglia (Stoneham, Mass.) cut the UMass deficit to two runs at 4-2. It also knocked Vitek from the game. Lisa Ferguson came in and fanned Molinari and Kelley to get out of the inning without any further damage.
UMass tried to get something going in the top of the sixth off Ferguson. Denis led off the inning with an infield single. After Sulick struck out, Denis was thrown out trying to steal. On the very next pitch, freshman Lauren Proctor (Redmond, Wash.) singled through the right side. Freshman Stacy Cullington (Encinitas, Calif.) then pinch hit and grounded out to end the inning.
With one out and a runner on third in the bottom of the sixth inning, junior Jenna Busa (Lexington, Mass.) relieved senior Barb LaFogg (Williamsburg, Mass.) on the mound. Busa allowed a bloop single to the first batter she faced on a 3-2 pitch which was the fifth Baylor run. Baylor also tacked on six unearned runs later in the inning which gave Baylor the mercy-rule win.
LaFogg allowed five runs, only one earned, on six hits and a walk in 5.1 innings. She fanned one.
LaFogg as well as Kelley were named to the All-Tournament team.
Massachusetts returns to action on Saturday, March 19 when it participates in the Villanova Challenge. The Minutewomen will face Villanova at 11:00 a.m., and Brown at 1:00 p.m.