Softball Comes From Behind Twice To Sweep Harvard, 4-1 And 4-3
April 26, 2005
AMHERST, Mass. - Massachusetts (26-14-1, 9-3 A-10) had to come from behind twice in the late innings, but swept Harvard (15-19, 6-4 Ivy League), 4-1 and 4-3, Tuesday afternoon at the UMass Softball Complex. Freshman Stacy Cullington (Encinitas, Calif.) hit a game-winning, three-run home run that capped a four-run sixth inning and gave UMass a 4-1 win in the first game against the Crimson. Cullington then singled and scored the winning run on an error as UMass scored three times in the final two innings to take a 4-3 win in the night cap.
Game one started off as a classic pitcher's duel between UMass junior Barb LaFogg (Williamsburg, Mass.) and Harvard's Shelly Madick. UMass sophomore Amanda Morin (Worcester, Mass.) registered the first hit of the game with a two-out single in the third inning, but she was stranded. Lauren Stefanchik led off the fourth inning with a single up the middle and was then safe at second when Lauren Bettinelli reached on a fielder's choice.
After LaFogg fanned Cecily Gordon for the inning's first out, UMass recorded the second out of the inning on a play at the plate. Danielle Kerper hit a ground ball heading up the middle. UMass freshman shortstop Stacy Cullington (Encinitas, Calif.) made a diving stop and flipped to junior second baseman Kristi Stefanoni (Columbus, N.J.). Bettinelli was ruled safe at second, but Stefanchik tried to score. Stefanoni gunned home and nabbed Bettinelli as junior catcher KJ Kelley (Rainier, Ore.) blocked the plate. LaFogg then got out of the inning when Beth Sabin lined out to Cullington at short.
In the top of the fifth, Harvard recorded consecutive singles after there were two outs. Pinch hitter Annie Dell'Aria then came in and gave the Crimson a 1-0 lead with a single to right-center field. LaFogg recorded a strikeout to get out of the inning.
Then in the sixth, the Minutewoman offense broke out. Sophomore Candice Molinari (Glendora, Calif.) led off with a double to left and then scored one batter later when Kelley roped a single off the right-center field fence. After senior Denise Denis (Middle Grove, N.Y.) sacrificed freshman pinch runner Maggie Feix (North Kingstown, R.I.) to second, senior Pam Sulick (Mission Viejo, Calif.) was hit by a pitch to put two on with one out. Proctor struck out, but Cullington came up with the clutch hit. She hit a three-run home run on a 3-2 pitch to right field giving UMass a 4-1 lead. It was her third home run of the season.
LaFogg (16-9) worked around an error in the seventh and closed the door for her 16th win of the season. She scattered four hits and did not walk a batter while striking out seven. For Harvard, Madick worked 5.2 innings. She gave up six hits and two walks while fanning three.
Cullington was 2-2 with three RBI in the game and the only UMass player with more than one hit.
Harvard scored twice off junior Jenna Busa (Lexington, Mass.) in the first inning of game two. Both runs were unearned as the first two batters of the game reached via UMass errors. UMass got one of the runs back in the bottom of the third inning. Busa led off with a single. She moved to second on a sacrifice, third on a ground out and then scored on a wild pitch.
After Harvard took a 3-1 lead with an unearned run in the top of the sixth inning, the Minutewomen came back to tie the game with a pair in the bottom of the sixth. Morin and Molinari led off the inning with consecutive singles. Both moved up a base on a fly ball by Kelley. Denis then flied out to centerfield and Morin scored from third. The throw in by Lauren Stefanchik went into the Harvard dugout and Molinari crossed the plate with the tying run.
Busa retired the Crimson in order in the top of the seventh and UMass came up looking for the winning run. Cullington singled to left with one out and then Busa singled as well to put the winning run in scoring position. After pinch hitter Amanda Acampora (Orange, Conn.) struck out, Morin came up looking to drive in the winning run. She hit a hard ground ball to Lauren Brown at shortstop. Brown booted the ball and then threw the ball into the ground. Cullington never stopped running around third and attempted to score. Brown picked the ball up and threw home. Cullington's hook slide to the third-base side of home plate allowed her to evade the tag and UMass won the second game, 4-3.
Busa (10-5) was not charged with an earned run as UMass committed three errors in the field behind her. She scattered two hits and a walk while fanning five.
Becky Voaklander pitched the first six innings for Harvard and allowed three runs (two earned) on four hits and no walks. She struck out six batters. Michelle McAteer was on the mound in the seventh when UMass won the game. The run was unearned. She allowed two hits and no walks while striking out one.
Massachusetts will continue its season-long, nine-game homestand tomorrow against Connecticut. The Minutewomen and Huskies will play a single game beginning at 5:00 PM. UMass will then host La Salle for a doubleheader beginning at 3:00 PM on Friday. All three games will be broadcast live online. In addition, live stats will be available via Gametracker. Links for everything can be found at www.umassathletics.com.