Softball Wins Ninth Straight A-10 Title
May 10, 2003
AMHERST, Mass. - The University of Massachusetts (36-13) won its ninth straight and 16th overall Atlantic 10 Softball championship with a 1-0 win over Temple (22-20) this afternoon at the UMass Softball Complex. UMass senior shortstop Emily Robustelli (Stamford, Conn.) was named the tournament's most outstanding player. She batted .600 with a two doubles, four runs scored, a home run and two RBI in the Minutewomen's three games.
Massachusetts scored the only run of the game in the bottom of the fifth inning. Robustelli led off the frame with a single to right field and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by sophomore Hilary Puglia (Stoneham, Mass.). Senior Brandi Cross (Diamond Bar, Calif.) followed with an RBI single to center scoring Robustelli with the winning run.
UMass senior pitcher Kaila Holtz (North Vancouver, British Columbia) made the run last by shutting out the Owls. She gave up just two hits and one walk while striking out nine. Holtz went 3-0 with a 0.67 ERA in the tournament. Temple pitcher Vicky Grasham (Tucson, Ariz.) took the tough loss, yielding just one run on seven hits. She walked one and fanned four.
Temple had a base runner reach second base just twice against Holtz. With one out in the third, freshman Lauren Evans (Mission Viejo, Calif.) reached second on a two-base error, but Holtz used a strikeout and a ground out to get out of the jam. Then in the sixth, freshman Jessica Rohn (Nazareth, Pa.) singled with one and and advanced a base on a ground out, but junior Lynsey Grace (New Bedford, Mass.) struck out to end the threat.
For Massachusetts, this afternoon's victory marked its ninth straight conference title and 16th overall. The Minutewomen will be heading to their 13th NCAA Tournament, May 15-18. They will learn their fate tomorrow night when the NCAA Selection Committee reveals the 64-team field live on ESPNews at 10:00 p.m.
2003 Atlantic 10 Softball All-Tournament Team
Lindsey McNamara - Saint Joseph's
Jill Clementi - Saint Joseph's
Michelle Schlichtig - Fordham
Emily Robustelli - Massachusetts
KJ Kelley - Massachusetts
Kaila Holtz - Massachusetts
Anna Perey - Massachusetts
Alexis Gary - Temple
Katie Weigle - Temple
Dana Travis - Saint Joseph's
Brandi Cross - Massachusetts
Most Outstanding Player - Emily Robustelli (Massachusetts)