Plourde Scores Winning Run Over Tennessee-Chattanooga
March 18, 2012
CLEARWATER, Fla. - The UMass softball team split on day two of the USF Under Armour Invitational, defeating Tennessee-Chattanooga 12-11 after losing to Illinois 7-2. Bridget Lemire played a crucial role in the win over UTC, allowing no walks and tallying just five earned runs out of 11 scored.
UMass came from behind twice in their win over UTC, overcoming a four run deficit in the bottom of the fifth and a five run deficit in the bottom of the sixth. UTC started the game off with a three run inning off of five hits. Two singles and a double gave them their first run of the game and then another double to left center gave them a 3-0 advantage early in the game.
The Minutewomen failed to put together an offense until the bottom of the third inning where they scored two runs on two hits. Anna Kelley got on base with a walk and then advanced to second when Lemire was thrown out at first. Cyndil Matthew then hit a single up the middle and advanced to second on the throw, putting her and Kelley in scoring position. Quianna Diaz-Patterson doubled down the left field line to send in both runners, bringing the score to 3-2.
UTC fired back in the top of the fifth, however, scoring three runs to increase their lead to four. Sara Poteat singled to third base but advanced to second on an error by Kelley. A double down the left field line would send her in, giving them a 4-2 advantage. Vivian Morimoto homered to dead center, which sent in two more runs and improved their lead to four.
UMass was quick to erase the deficit and scored four runs in the bottom of the fifth, which tied the game at 6-6. A pair of singles from Maggie Quealy and Kelley got two runners on, and then Lemire was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Matthew singled to center field and sent in Quealy, her first run of the season. Katie Bettencourt was walked to send in another run and keep the bases loaded, and then Webster singled up the middle to send in two more and even the score at 6-6.
The Mocs weren't done yet however, and put five more runs on the board in the top of the sixth. Sarah Beth Roberts reached on a fielding error by Lemire and then got to second on a wild pitch. A single to the shortstop got Roberts to third and then a single up the middle got her home. With two on base, Cheyenne Willis singled to right field but some quick fielding kept any runners from scoring. An error by Lindsey Webster in left field allowed Kasey Tydingco to get to second and sent three runs in, bringing the score to 10-6. A pair of errors is what caused the final run of the game for UTC. Lemire failed to field the ball cleanly, allowing the batter to get on base, and then Magill over threw first, allowing the runner on third to score.
UMass was determined and again tied the game in the bottom of the sixth. Quealy singled to the pitcher and then Lemire reached on an error by the third baseman. Matthew singled to second base, loading the bases. Diaz-Patterson singled to second base, which would send in two runs and bring the score to 11-8. A ground rule double from Magill sent in two more runners, and then a pair of walks would send in one more to tie the game at 11-11.
Plourde came in to finish the game for Lemire in the top of the seventh after she allowed a hit, and struck out two in a row to prevent UTC from scoring again. Plourde then got her first at-bat of the season in the bottom of the seventh, fouling off 11 balls before eventually being walked. Matthew singled to the shortstop and then Diaz-Patterson singled to left center to load the bases. A single from Bettencourt to right center finished off the game, sending in Plourde.
Diaz-Patterson recorded three RBIs off of four hits. Matthew also recorded four hits and Quealy had two.
Earlier in the day the Minutewomen were not as successful as they fell to Illinois for the second time this season. UMass scored their only two runs of the game in the bottom of the first inning when Webster hit a two run double to right center, sending in Matthew and Diaz-Patterson, who walked and singled up the middle, respectively.
Illinois struck back in the top of the fourth inning when they scored three runs to take and keep the lead. Three walks and a wild pitch sent in the first run of the inning, and then an error by Teea Rogers allowed another run to score.
In the top of the fifth, the Fighting Illini would add another run to the board when a double to left center turned into a triple off the throw and sent in the runner on first, who was walked. Illinois scored three more in the top of the seventh, bringing the score to 7-2.
Plourde walked 15 batters and struck out ten in the game. Webster had the only RBIs of the game with two. UMass tallied six hits to Illinois' four.
The Minutewomen will play their final game of the USF Under Armour Invite on Sunday at 1:30 when they take on Florida Gulf Coast.