Minutewomen Drop Heartbreaker To Washington, 3-1
May 16, 2009
AMHERST, Mass. - Despite hanging neck and neck with the #3 overall seed, two defensive miscues led to three unearned runs as the UMass softball team dropped a 3-1 decision to the Washington Huskies in the NCAA Amherst Regional on Saturday afternoon at the UMass Softball Complex. Brandice Balschmiter was strong once again, allowing six hits while striking out nine, but was outdueled by Danielle Lawrie who allowed an unearned run on three hits with 12 strikeouts. The Minutewomen are now set to face the winner of the second game featuring Cornell against Sacred Heart with first pitch tentatively scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Saturday.
UMass' three hits came from Whitney Williams, Audrey Boutin, and Kyllie Magill. Williams' double set the stage for a dramatic comeback in the bottom of the sixth inning, but Whitney Mollica's second error of the game in the top of the seventh plated two Washington runners to make it 3-1.
Two defensive miscues set the stage for the Huskies as they took advantage with a run in the top of the third inning for a 1-0 lead. With one out, Mollica made a nice stop on an Ashley Charters hot shot down the third base line, but her throw airmailed first baseman Sarah Reeves. Following the two base error, Kimi Pohlman hit another grounder to Mollica. She looked Charters back, but her throw to first was too late. Jennifer Salling then lofted a blooper into left field, plating Charters for the first run of the game.
Washington had a chance to extend its lead in the fifth, but ran itself out of the inning when Charters tried to sneak in the back door from second base on an Ashlyn Watson groundout. Reeves made the throw to catcher Jessica Serio, who easily applied the tag to end to complete the double play and end the threat.
The Minutewomen tied the score in the bottom of the sixth in exciting fashion. Williams led off the frame with a double off the right-center field wall then Mollica followed with a fly out to right field, advancing Williams to third. The throw by Pohlman got away and Williams was able to beat the throw to the plate to make it 1-1.
Washington capitalized on Mollica's second error in the top of the seventh to retake the lead at 3-1. Niki Williams and Charters led off the inning with a walk and single, respectively. Balschmiter struck out Pohlman and Ashlyn Watson with a walk sandwiched in between, but with the bases loaded, a ground ball by Morgan Stuart got through Mollica at third base, scoring Williams and Charters for the two run cushion.