#25 Softball Sweeps Maine In Home Opener
April 2, 2003
AMHERST, Mass. - The 25th-ranked University of Massachusetts softball team (19-10, 4-0) upped its winning streak to ten straight games with a pair of victories over Maine in its home opener this afternoon at the UMass Softball Complex. UMass took the first game 6-1 and the second one, 5-0, in a game which was called after four and a half innings due to darkness.
In game one, senior Brandi Cross (Diamond Bar, Calif.) provided senior pitcher Kaila Holtz (North Vancouver, British Columbia) with all of the offense she would need by smacking a two-run home run over the left-center field fence in the bottom of the first inning. The dinger, which was her ninth of the season, gave UMass a 2-0 lead. Holtz gave up one unearned run over seven innings as she improved to 9-6 this season. She scattered three hits and struck out ten batters.
Cross provided the Minutewomen with more offense in the bottom of the fifth inning as she blooped a single to right field with the bases loaded driving in two. Senior Emily Robustelli (Stamford, Conn.), who had singled, and senior Anna Perey (Chino Valley, Ariz.), who had walked, both scored on the play. The Minutewomen had the bases loaded with nobody out, but could not push another runner home in the frame.
After the Black Bears scored an unearned run in the top of the sixth inning, the UMass offense scored two more insurance runs to put the game away. Cross came up again with the bases loaded and drove in her fifth run of the game with a sacrifice fly. Freshman KJ Kelley (Rainier, Ore.) singled to right driving in Perey for the inning's second run.
UMass scored once in the first inning of game two and four more times in the second inning en route to a 5-0 victory. Sophomore Kelli Arnold (Kalama, Wash.) gave up two hits and struck out four in five innings. The game was called by the umpires after Maine batted in the fifth inning due to darkness.
Kelley drove in the games' first run with a sharp RBI single to right. Cross, who had singled and advanced to second on a wild pitch, scored on the play. Sophomore Denise Denis (Middle Grove, N.Y.) led off the second inning with a single and scored a couple of batters later when Maine pitcher Sarah Bennis uncorked one of her three wild pitches. Robustelli gave the Minutewomen a 3-0 lead with an RBI double to right center scoring Perey, who had walked, from third. Cross and Holtz also added RBI singles in the inning.
Massachusetts will host Saint Joseph's in its A-10 home opener on Friday, April 4. The doubleheader is slated to begin at 3:00 p.m.
Notes: UMass has now won 10 games in a row and 42 straight at home ... The Minutewomen improve to 26-2 all-time in home openers, 22-2 in the Elaine Sortino era ... With the win in game one, UMass has now won 19 straight home openers ... Cross' nine home runs this season equal her career season-best set in 2000.
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