Plourde's 18 Strikeouts, Two RBI Power UMass Past George Washington
May 10, 2012
ST. LOUIS - Sara Plourde struck out 18 batters and drove in a pair of runs to lead No. 1 seed Massachusetts to a 5-2 win over No. 4 George Washington on the second day of the 2012 Atlantic 10 Softball Championship at the Billiken Sports Center Thursday.
UMass (36-11) scored the final four runs in the game and outhit the Colonials 8-2 in winning its 20th-consecutive game. The Minutewomen advance to Friday's semifinal where they will meet No. 2 seed Fordham at 2 p.m. Eastern Time.
Plourde (34-9) threw her 40th complete game as she allowed two runs on two hits. She struck out 18 in a seven-inning game for the sixth time in her career, two shy of her career high in a 7-inning game. The senior also went 2-for-2 with a single and a double, in addition to being hit by a pitch.
Additionally, Plourde surpassed the 500-strikeout mark for the second time in her career. This marks the 18th time a Division I player has accomplished the feat.
Centerfielder Christine Della Vecchia went 3-for-3 with a run and an RBI for UMass.
The Minutewomen scored a run in the first when Cyndil Matthew was driven in on a two-out single from Plourde.
GW took its only lead of the contest in the third when shortstop Tori Valos belted a two-out, two-run home run to left.
UMass tied it at 2-2 in the next half-inning when Plourde hit a line drive off the wall in center that scored Kyllie Magill. The Minutewomen two more in the fourth when Della Vecchia scored from second on a infield error before Magill singled home Matthew.
UMass plated the final run on a Della Vecchia double in the fifth.
George Washington (23-29) drops into the loser's bracket and will face the Charlotte-Saint Joseph's winner on Friday afternoon. Reliever Kara Clauss (14-18) took the loss after allowing three runs on four hits in two innings of work.
UMass improved to 77-17 all-time in A-10 Tournament play.