UMass Falls To USF 2-1 In Eight Innings
March 19, 2012
TAMPA, Fla. - The UMass softball team couldn't hold on to their one run advantage and fell to #25 University of South Florida 2-1 in eight innings. The Minutewomen fall to 11-9 on the season, and suffered their first loss to USF in the last three outings. Cyndil Matthew, the Atlantic 10 co-player of the week, scored the lone run for UMass. She was also strong defensively, making two impressive catches in centerfield.
The first five innings marked strong pitching performances from both teams to go along with excellent fielding. Sara Plourde recorded six of her nine strikeouts in these innings and USF's pitcher Sara Nevins recorded all of her seven.
In the bottom of the second inning, Lindsey Webster made an impressive double play, sprinting in from left field to catch a ball on the edge of the infield and then throwing to first to pick off the runner, ending the inning.
Kyllie Magill was responsible for the first two outs in the bottom of the fourth, catching two balls that were popped up, and then Matthew made a big play in right center, sprinting to a ball that would have hit the wall and making the out.
Anna Kelley made a crucial third out play with a runner in scoring position in the bottom of the fifth when she snatched a ball from over the dugout fence to end the inning.
Finally in the top of the sixth a run was put on the board for UMass, giving them the 1-0 advantage. Matthew leadoff the inning with a single that can be credited to her speed. She then stole second and advanced to third on a passed ball while Quianna Diaz-Patterson was at the plate, who made it to first after being hit in the thigh by the pitch. Katie Bettencourt hit a hard single to center field on the 0-1 pitch that sent in Matthew.
In the bottom of the sixth, Plourde struck out two batters and then Matthew made another athletic play in the outfield to end the inning and preventing the two runners on base from scoring.
One run in the bottom of the seventh tied the game at 1-1 and would lead to extra innings. The Minutewomen recorded two quick outs when the first batter flew out to Bettencourt in right field and the second grounded out to Diaz-Patterson at shortstop. With two outs, Plourde walked the next batter and then a single to left field that turned into a two base hit off of an error on the throw by Webster put a runner on second and third. Plourde then threw a wild pitch and sent in the runner on third to tie the game.
Despite a bases loaded situation, the Minutewomen couldn't add any runs to the scoreboard in the top of the eighth. The game would end with a walk-off homerun from the leadoff batter in the bottom of the eighth.
The Minutewomen play their last game in Florida this season on Tuesday when they face Northwestern at noon.