Softball Comes Back To Beat UConn, 7-6, In 10 Innings
April 12, 2005
STORRS, Conn. - A sacrifice fly by senior Denise Denis (Middle Grove, N.Y.) in the top of the 10th inning gave Massachusetts (16-11-1) a 7-6 come-from-behind win over Connecticut (11-19) in 10 innings Tuesday afternoon at the Connecticut Softball Complex. Junior KJ Kelley (Rainier, Ore.) hit a solo home run in the top of the first inning to break the school record. It was her 27th career long ball. She hit another one later in the game as well. UMass overcame a 6-3 sixth-inning deficit.
UMass got out to a 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning on Kelley's home run to dead center field. It was her 27th career home run which set a new school record. Brandi Cross and Scooter Wheeler held the previous mark of 26. The Huskies came right back to tie the game in the bottom of the first when Allie Gendron had a two-out RBI double to left-center field.
Sophomore Candice Molinari (Glendora, Calif.) led off the fourth inning by striking out, but was able to reach base on a wild pitch. After Molinari stole second base, Kelley was intentionally walked and pinch run for by sophomore Michea Holness (Beverly, Mass.). Two batters later, senior Pam Sulick (Mission Viejo, Calif.) doubled off the left-center field fence to drive in both runs and give UMass a 3-1 lead.
The Huskies had runners at first and third with nobody out in the fifth inning after a double and an error. Junior pitcher Jenna Busa (Lexington, Mass.) gave up two doubles and hit a batter to allow the tying runs to score. Senior Barb LaFogg (Williamsburg, Mass.) then came into the game inheriting runners on second and third and a 2-0 count. LaFogg got the first batter out on a foul-out, but a two-run double by Stephanie DiBiase and a single up the middle by Christine Keeton gave UConn a 6-3 lead. All told, the Huskies scored five runs on six hits in the inning. Four of the runs were unearned.
Busa gave up five runs (two earned) on five hits and two walks. She fanned two batters.
The Minutewomen inched closer in the sixth as Kelley roped her second homer of the game to left-center field. The solo shot made it a 6-4 game. Then in the top of the seventh, freshman Lauren Proctor (Redmond, Wash.) led off with a solo home run to left-center field. It was her first career home run. On the very next pitch, sophomore Amanda Morin (Worcester, Mass.) hit a home run to the exact same spot behind the left-center field fence. Morin's home run was her second career shot in as many games.
In the bottom of the seventh inning, LaFogg worked around a one-out walk and sent the game into extra innings for the second straight year in Storrs. Kelley worked a one-out walk for UMass in the eighth and then moved to third when senior Denise Denis (Middle Grove, N.Y.) doubled down the right-field line. Sulick was then hit by a pitch to load the bases for Proctor. She reached on a fielder's choice as Kelley was nabbed at home. Morin then struck out on three pitches to end the threat.
In the eighth, LaFogg retired the side in order on two strikeouts. The two teams went to the ninth inning for the second straight year. UConn pitcher Jessica Gurney then retired the Minutewomen in order in the top of the ninth. LaFogg came back to retire the Huskies in order in the bottom of the inning sending the game into the 10th. It marked the longest game for UMass of the season.
Molinari led off the UMass 10th with an infield single and then stole second base. A grounder to second by Kelley moved Molinari over to third base. Denis then hit a fly ball to shallow centerfield. Molinari scored the go-ahead run as the throw home was up the third-base line.
In the bottom of the 10th, LaFogg worked around a one-out single and was able to end the game and earn her 11th win of the season. LaFogg worked the final 5.2 innings. She allowed one unearned run on four hits and a walk while fanning six.
The four home runs by UMass tied a school record. It also hit four at LaSalle on March 27, 2004. The two home runs by Kelley also tied a record that she has set twice before. All told, it has happened nine times.
Massachusetts will host six games this week at the UMass Softball Complex beginning tomorrow with a doubleheader against Central Connecticut State. First pitch of game one will be 3:00 PM. Both games tomorrow will be broadcast online at www.umassathletics.com. Live stats will also be available by clicking on the Gametracker link.