Softball Downs BC, 8-1, To End Regular Season
May 9, 2004
AMHERST, Mass. - After a two and a half hour rain delay, the University of Massachusetts softball team (32-13) scored eight runs on nine hits to close out the regular season with an 8-1 win over Boston College (33-23) on Senior Day at the UMass Softball Complex. The Minutewomen end the regular season on an eight-game winning streak and have now won 72 games in a row at home which is the longest active streak in the nation.
Boston College scored an unearned run in the top of the first off junior pitcher Kelli Arnold (Kalama, Wash.), but it was all Massachusetts after that. The bats broke out in the third inning with three runs to take the lead for good. Senior Aisha Franke (Philadelphia, Pa.) led off with an infield single. After she was sacrificed to second base by junior Hilary Puglia (Stoneham, Mass.), junior Denise Denis (Middle Grove, N.Y.) was called upon to pinch hit. She continued her torrid hitting at the plate with a double to the left-center field gap plating Franke with the tying run. Sophomore Katie Jo Kelley (Rainier, Ore.) followed with a RBI single up the middle to drive in Denis with the eventual winning run. It was Kelley's team-high 38th RBI which moved her into a seventh-place tie for the most in a single-season. Freshman pinch runner Michea Holness (Beverly, Mass.) scored later on a RBI double by junior Pam Sulick (Mission Viejo, Calif.).
Arnold pitched the first four innings of the game before giving way to sophomore Jenna Busa (Lexington, Mass.). Arnold gave up two hits and two walks while striking out two as she improved to 18-5 on the season. Busa pitched three perfect innings to notch her first career save. She fanned three. Puglia made three great defensive plays at shortstop including a diving stab of a line drive up the middle and a play in which she took a hit away in the hole behind third.
The Minutewomen added a solo run in the fifth on a RBI single by senior KC Budrewicz (Buckland, Mass.) and then broke the game open with four runs in the sixth. The highlight of the inning was a two-RBI double by senior Jamie Cahalan (Mesa, Ariz.). They also scored runs in the frame on a wild pitch and an error.
Tekae Malandris started for the Eagles and gave up three runs on four hits and two walks in 2.2 innings. She was relieved by Michelle Daly.
Massachusetts will play Fordham in the first round of the Atlantic 10 Tournament on Thursday at 12:00 p.m. The first-seeded Minutewomen are the host of the championship since Dayton failed to qualify. In the second game No. 2 Temple will battle No. 3 Saint Joseph's at 2:00 p.m. Tickets can be purchased in advance by calling the UMass Athletic Ticket Office at 1-866-UMASS-TIX. They will also be available at the field on game-day.