Softball Downs Fordham, 3-1 In A-10 Tournament
May 8, 2003
AMHERST, Mass. - The University of Massachusetts (34-13) and Temple University (21-18) both advanced to the winner's bracket with wins on day one of the 2003 Atlantic 10 Softball Championship held at the UMass Softball Complex. The Minutewomen were 3-1 winners over Fordham (37-18), while Temple downed Saint Joseph's (24-14), 2-1. UMass and Temple will play at 12:00 p.m. on Friday in the winner's bracket, while Fordham and Saint Joseph's will play in an elimination game at 2:00 p.m.
Following a two-hour and fifteen-minute rain delay, Fordham took a 1-0 lead off UMass senior pitcher Kaila Holtz (North Vancouver, British Columbia) in the top of the third inning of game one. Ram freshman Brandy Kean (Mt. Ephraim, N.J.) led off the inning with a double to the left-center field gap and scored two batters later on a double to right field by sophomore Ivy Pollock (San Diego, Calif.). Fordham had runners at second and third with nobody out, but was unable to score another run.
The game remained 1-0 until Massachusetts scored three times in the bottom of the sixth. Senior Anna Perey (Chino Valley, Ariz.) led off with an infield single and was able to move to second after a throwing error by Kean at shortstop. Senior Emily Robustelli (Stamford, Conn.) drove home Perey with a double to right field to tie the game. After a sacrifice bunt by sophomore Hilary Puglia (Stoneham, Mass.) moved Robustelli to third, senior Brandi Cross (Diamond Bar, Calif.) drove in the winning run with a single to right-center. Sophomore Denise Denis (Middle Grove, N.Y.) added an insurance run later in the inning with an RBI single.
Holtz gave up a leadoff walk in the seventh, but then struck out the next three batters to earn her 19th win of the season. She fanned 12 batters. Fordham freshman pitcher Michelle Schlichtig (Barrington, N.J.) dropped to 22-8 on the season with the loss, but did strike out 10 batters.
In the second game of the day between Temple and Saint Joseph's, each team scored an unearned run in the third inning. In the Hawk half of the inning, sophomore Megan Richardson (Bear, Del.) reached on an error with two outs to get things going. She stole second base and after a walk by junior Lindsey McNamara (Southampton, Pa.), scored on a single by sophomore Alicia Cunic (Allentown, Pa.). The Owls got their run courtesy of an RBI single by senior Bari Lynn Pflueger (Allentown, Pa.). It scored junior Katie Weigle (Naples, Fla.), who had reached on an error with one out and was moved to second base on a groundout by junior Lynsey Grace (New Bedford, Mass.).
The game remained deadlocked at one apiece until the bottom of the seventh inning. Temple freshman Lauren Evans (Mission Viejo, Calif.) led off the inning with a single. Pinch runner Nicole Undercuffer (Norristown, Pa.) advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by freshman Jenny Cochran (Thousand Oaks, Calif.). After a groundout by freshman Jessica Rohn (Nazareth, Pa.) for the inning's second out, Undercuffer stole third base and was able to score when Cunic, the SJU catcher threw the ball into left field.
Senior Elizabeth Naughton (Olyphant, Pa.) threw the first four innings for Temple and took a no-decision. She walked one and struck out two. Freshman Vicky Grasham (Tuscon, Ariz.) threw three scoreless innings in relief and picked up the win. She walked one and fanned three. Junior Dana Travis (Newark, Del.) went the distance for the Hawks, allowing no earned runs and striking out four.
UMass and Temple will play at 12:00 p.m. in game three of the championship tomorrow, while Fordham and Saint Joseph's will play in in an elimination game thirty minutes after the conclusion of game three. The loser of game three and the winner of game four will then play at approximately 4:00 p.m., while the UMass/Temple winner advances into Saturday's championship.