No. 25 Softball Beats Villanova And Seton Hall
March 23, 2003
VILLANOVA, Pa. - The 25th-ranked University of Massachusetts softball team (13-10) defeated Seton Hall, 3-0, and Villanova, 3-0, this afternoon in the Atlantic 10/Big East Challenge hosted by Villanova.
In game one, Massachusetts took a 2-0 lead over Seton Hall in the first inning. Senior pitcher Kaila Holtz (North Vancouver, British Columbia) had a two-out, two-RBI single to center field which scored senior Anna Perey (Chino Valley, Ariz.) and pinch runner Denise Denis (Middle Grove, N.Y.). Perey had singled earlier in the inning, while Denis was running for senior Brandi Cross (Diamond Bar, Calif.) who had also singled.
The Pirates threatened in the top of the third inning, loading the bases with one out, but Holtz was able to strike out two straight batters to get out of the jam. Cross added some insurance in the bottom of the fifth inning with a long solo home run over the left-center field fence. It was her fifth of the season and second of the tournament.
Holtz pitched her second straight shutout, while tying a career-high with 12 strikeouts. She scattered three hits and walked one as she improved to 6-6 on the season.
Cross got the Minutewomen going again in game two against Villanova with a line drive home run over the center field fence. The blast, which was her sixth of the season and second of the day, put UMass up 1-0 in the top of the first inning. In the bottom of the frame, freshman pitcher Jenna Busa (Lexington, Mass.) got into trouble as the first two Wildcat hitters reached base via infield singles, but she worked out of the jam unscaved.
Busa got into trouble again in the bottom of the fourth inning again as the first two Villanova batters reached base courtesy of a single and a walk, but Busa struck out the side to get out of the jam. The last two outs came with the tying and go-ahead runs in scoring position after Busa uncorked a wild pitch to move the runners up. The Wildcats then threatened again in the bottom of the fifth inning putting two on with one out and loading the bases with two outs, but Busa was able to escape without surrendering a run.
In the top of the sixth, senior Emily Robustelli (Stamford, Conn.) gave Busa some insurance with a solo home run over the left-center field fence. It was her fifth dinger of the season. The Minutewomen added another run in the top of the seventh when junior KC Budrewicz (Buckland, Mass.) hit a sharp single to left scoring pinch-runner Pam Sulick (Mission Viejo, Calif.) from third. Sulick was running for Holtz, who had doubled down the right field line to start off the inning.
After walking the leadoff batter in the seventh, Busa was replaced by sophomore Kelli Arnold (Kalama, Wash.). In just her second career start, Busa gave up five hits and three walks, while striking out a career-high seven batters. Arnold retired all three batters she faced for her second save of the season.
Massachusetts returns to action with a 3:00 p.m. game at Boston University on Tuesday, March 25.