Softball Splits Doubleheader At Temple
April 25, 2004
PHILADELPHIA, Pa. - The University of Massachusetts softball team (24-13, 7-1 Atlantic 10) split a doubleheader with Temple University (19-14, 5-1 A-10) Sunday afternoon at the Ambler Softball Complex. The Minutewomen came back from five runs back in game one for an 8-6 win, but dropped the second game by a score of 2-1. Despite the loss, the Minutewome still lead Temple by a game for first place in the A-10 standings.
The first three and a half innings of game one were played in the pouring rain. The Owls jumped out on junior pitcher Kelli Arnold (Kalama, Wash.) for five runs in the first inning. The big blow was a three-run home run by Laura Gutscher. UMass got one of the runs back in the second on a solo home run by junior Pam Sulick (Mission Viejo, Calif.). The Minutewomen then tied the game with four runs in the top of the third. Senior Aisha Franke (Philadelphia, Pa.) led off with a walk and advanced to third on a single by junior Hilary Puglia (Stoneham, Mass.). After Puglia stole second, freshman Candace Molinari (Glendora, Calif.) reached on a fielder's choice. Franke was safe at home with the second run for UMass and Puglia moved over to third. Sophomore Katie Jo Kelley (Rainier, Ore.) then tied the game with a three-run home run to left-center field.
In the bottom of the third, Temple went back on top 6-5 with an unearned run, but the Minutewomen came up with two runs in the top of the fourth inning to take the lead for good. Franke got a two-out infield single to get it started and advanced to third when Puglia roped a double off the center field fence. Both runners scored when junior pinch hitter Denise Denis (Middle Grove, N.Y.) hit a double to right field. It was Denis' second game-winning hit of the week. In the middle of the fourth, the umpires called for the tarp to be brought onto the field.
Following a 52-minute rain delay, the pitchers took over. UMass was able to add an insurance run in the seventh inning when Kelley hit a RBI double to left-field scoring Denis. Arnold picked up the win on the mound for UMass. She is now 13-5 on the season.
Game two turned out to be a pitcher's duel between sophomore Jenna Busa (Lexington, Mass.) of UMass and Kim Watkins of the Owls. The game remained scoreless until the Owls scratched out a run in the third. Katie Weigle led off with an infield single. The Owls then attempted a sacrifice bunt, but Weigle was thrown out at second. The UMass defense fell asleep momentarily and the runner of first was able to go to second when nobody was covering the base. The Owls then made it a 2-0 game with an unearned run in the bottom of the fifth. Melissa McCartney reached on a one-out walk and then moved to third on two passed balls. She scored one batter later on a single up the middle.
UMass got one of the runs back in the top of the sixth when Puglia led off with a home run. The Minutewomen then mounted a rally in the seventh inning that came up just short. Sulick led off with a single up the middle and was pinch ran for by Molinari. Senior KC Budrewicz (Buckland, Mass.) sacrificed Molinari to second and moved the tying run into scoring position. Morin followed with a base hit to left, but the ball was hit to hard for Molinari to even attempt to score. Morin then stole second to get into scoring position. After sophomore Kristi Stefanoni (Columbus, N.J.) popped out on the infield, pinch hitter Lesley Ferrara (Stamford, Conn.) came up with a chance to keep the game going. She ripped the ball down the left-field line that was just foul on the first pitch. Ferrara then sprayed a ball down the right-field line that was three feet foul. Two pitches later, she grounded out to shortstop to end the game.
It was the first win for Temple against UMass since 1997.
UMass returns to action on Thursday when it hosts Rhode Island for a doubleheader at the UMass Softball Complex. First pitch is set for 3:00 p.m. The games will be broadcast online through the UMass Sports Radio Network.