UMass Softball Wins Blue & Gold Classic
March 17, 2002
MIAMI, Fla. - The University of Massachusetts softball team defeated tournament host Florida International, 2-1, in eight innings to win the Blue & Gold Classic this evening.
UMass struck first in the top of the first innings as freshman Hilary Puglia (Stoneham, Mass.) hit a single up the middle, the first hit of her career. Puglia advance to second base on a FIU wild pitch and was driven home on a drive to center field by senior Scooter Wheeler (Kingsburg, Calif.).
UMass pitcher Kaila Holtz (North Vancouver, British Columbia) kept the Golden Panthers subdude until the bottom of the sixth inning when a hit and an error let FIU tie the score at 1-1. Nicole Dubovik reached base on a fielder's choice and advanced to second base on a two out steal. She scored on a UMass error in the infield.
The score remained knotted at 1-1 through regulation, forcing the international tie rule in the eighth inning, automatically placing a runner at second base. UMass opened the inning with sacrifice bunt by sophomore Aisha Franke (Philadelphia, Pa.), moving senior Ashley Bakken (Phoenix, Ariz.) to third base. Senior Teri Rooney then delivered a shot to right field, scoring Bakken and giving the Minutewomen the 2-1 edge.
FIU led off its frame with an attempted sacrifice bunt that Wheeler scooped and fired to third to get the led runner. UMass pitcher Kaila Holtz (North Vancouver, British Columbia) forced the next two outs with a strike out and a week come backer to the mound to preserve the victory.
Holtz recorded her sixth win (6-4) of the season as she allowed three hits, one run and three walks, while striking out two over eight innings of work.
UMass now boasts a 13-9 mark and will open Atlantic 10 Conference action next weekend, March 23-24 with three games at Temple.