No. 23 Softball Falls To Syracuse, 4-2 In Miami
March 16, 2003
MIAMI, Fla. - The 23rd-ranked University of Massachusetts softball team (9-10) committed four errors as it fell to Syracuse (6-12), 4-2, this afternoon at Florida International's University Park. The win for the Orangewomen was their first ever over a ranked team. The game was played because the championship bracket of the Nike Blue & Gold Classic was rained out. Heavy rains and thunder storms washed out play last night and the remainder of pool play resumed this morning before teams had to fly home.
The Minutewomen got on the board first in the top of the sixth inning, but had a chance for more. Freshman KJ Kelley (Rainier, Ore.) got things going with a one-out walk. After the inning's second out, junior Aisha Franke (Philadelphia, Pa.) legged out an in field single and Kelley was able to scamper to third when the Syracuse pitcher threw the ball away. Franke then stole second base and junior Nicole Wilson (Gaithersburg, Md.) put UMass up 1-0 with a sharp single up the middle. After Wilson stole second, sophomore Denise Denis (Middle Grove, N.Y.) worked a walk to load the bases for senior Emily Robustelli (Stamford, Conn.). Robustelli hit a sharp line drive which was snared by Julie Dunn at third to end the threat.
Syracuse scored one run in the bottom of the inning and scored two unearned runs in the bottom of the third to go up 3-1. The Orangewomen then scored again in the fourth inning to take a 4-1 edge. Kelley doubled to lead off the top of the fourth for UMass, but could not get any farther than third base. In the fifth, Denis led off with a single, but was still at third base after two consecutive ground outs. She did score on a wild pitch, but that would be the last time UMass would get a runner past first base.
Senior Kaila Holtz (North Vancouver, British Columbia) took the tough loss for the Minutewomen, giving up eight hits and four runs, only two of which were earned. She struck out three and walked one.
Massachusetts returns to action March 22-23 at the Atlantic 10/Big East Challenge in Philadelphia. The Minutewomen will play games against Villanova and Seton Hall each day. Play on Saturday begins at 2:00 p.m., and 9:00 a.m. on Sunday.
Tournament Notes: Massachusetts finished third with a 2-2 record in pool play of the Nike Blue & Gold Classic ... California (4-0) finished first while host-school Florida International (3-1) was runner-up ... the championship round was cancelled due to heavy rain in the Miami area last night ... senior Anna Perey (Chino Valley, Ariz.) and Holtz were named to the All-Tournament team ... Perey hit a team-high .400 (4-10) at the plate and stole four bases ... she also drove in a run and scored twice ... Holtz was 1-1 on the mound with a 2.15 ERA in 13.0 innings ... she struck out eight batters and walked three ... at the plate, Holtz was second on the team this weekend with a .364 (4-11) average.