Softball Sweeps URI, 8-0 And 5-0
April 29, 2004
AMHERST, Mass. - Junior Denise Denis (Middle Grove, N.Y.) had a double, home run and four RBI as the University of Massachusetts softball team (26-13, 9-1 A-10) swept a doubleheader from the University of Rhode Island (14-30, 2-8), 8-0 and 5-0, this afternoon at the UMass Softball Complex. The Minutewomen have now won 67 straight home games, the longest streak in the nation.
The Minutewomen scored six unearned runs in the second inning of game one to take the early lead against pitcher Jenna Thurston. Senior Jamie Cahalan (Mesa, Ariz.) led off with a walk and moved to second two batters later when senior KC Budrewicz (Buckland, Mass.) worked a walk. Freshman Amanda Morin (Worcester, Mass.) grounded to the pitcher, but Thurston threw the ball away trying to nab Cahalan at third. Cahalan scored and Budrewicz moved to third. Two batters later, senior Aisha Franke (Philadelphia, Pa.) singled to drive in the inning's second run. Junior Hilary Puglia (Stoneham, Mass.) drew a walk and junior Denise Denis (Middle Grove, N.Y.) broke the game open with a two-RBI double to center. Sophomore Katie Jo Kelley (Rainier, Ore.) then ripped a single down the left-field line which plated two more runs and gave the Minutewomen a 6-0 lead.
In the bottom of the fourth, UMass got the two runs it needed to enforce the mercy-rule on a two-run home run by Puglia into the left-field screen. Junior Kelli Arnold (Kalama, Wash.) pitched the first four innings and allowed just one hit and one walk while striking out five. She is now 14-5 on the season. Junior Barb LaFogg (Williamsburg, Mass.) pitched a scoreless fifth to give UMass the win. She walked one and struck out one.
In game two, UMass gave sophomore pitcher Jenna Busa (Lexington, Mass.) all the offense she would need with three runs in the bottom of the third. Busa, pitching on her 20th birthday, hurled her sixth shutout of the season. She allowed three hits and three walks while fanning five to improve to 12-7 on the year.
Puglia ignited the two-out rally in the third with a double into the left-center field gap. Denis then singled to right to drive home Puglia with the game's first run. After Kelley drew a walk, Cahalan ripped a double over the right fielder's head to drive in a pair. There was a scary moment for Busa in the top of the fourth. Mel Gregory hit a screaming line drive that hit Busa flush on the right leg. Busa shook it off and finished the game strong.
UMass added some insurance runs in the bottom of the fifth. Denis led off with her second home run of the season. Budrewicz tripled later in the inning to drive home the fifth run of the game.
Rhode Island had four hits on the day and just one runner reach third base. Denis and Puglia each had a single, double and a home run on the day. Denis had four RBI, while Puglia drove in two. Budrewicz, Cahalan and Kelley also had two hits.
Massachusetts returns to action on Saturday when it hosts Fordham at 12:00 p.m. for a doubleheader at the UMass Softball Complex. Game one will be televised live on the College Sports Television Network. It is the first televised regular season game in the history of the conference. Fans are encouraged to bring signs and wear UMass gear to be a part of all the action.