Softball Downs Eastern Kentucky, 4-1
May 20, 2004
ATHENS, Ga. - Massachusetts (34-16) pounded out 12 hits, all singles, and defeated Eastern Kentucky (42-17), 4-1, in an elimination game tonight in the loser's bracket of the NCAA Softball Tournament at the University of Georgia Soccer/Softball Complex. The Minutewomen scored four unanswered runs and will now play either Michigan State or Washington in an elimination game Friday at 5:30 p.m.
Eastern Kentucky strung together back-to-back two-out hits by Kelsey Anderson and Amy Mayrhofer to take a 1-0 lead in the top of the second inning. Anderson roped a double to right-center and then scored on a single by Mayrhofer.
Massachusetts responded with two runs in the bottom of the second inning to take the lead for good. Senior KC Budrewicz (Buckland, Mass.) worked a one-out walk. Freshman Amanda Morin (Worcester, Mass.) then singled and both runners were able to move up a base when the center fielder threw the ball away. Sophomore Kristi Stefanoni (Columbus, N.J.) singled up the middle to tie the game and then Morin scored two batters later on an infield single by senior Aisha Franke (Philadelphia, Pa.).
EKU put runners on first and third with one out in the top of the fourth, but junior pitcher Kelli Arnold (Kalama, Wash.) got out of the jam with a shallow fly ball to center and a line drive which she snared out of the air.
Massachusetts then gave Arnold (20-7) some insurance with solo runs in the fifth and sixth innings. Sophomore Katie Jo Kelley (Rainier, Ore.) drove in her 40th run of the season with a RBI single in the fifth and senior Jamie Cahalan (Mesa, Ariz.) added a RBI single in the sixth.
Both Franke and freshman Candice Molinari (Glendora, Calif.) were 3-3 for UMass on the evening. All but two starters had at least one single as UMass finished with 12. Arnold scattered seven hits and two walks while fanning two. Kindal Kincaid (15-6) took the loss for Eastern Kentucky. She walked one and did not strike out a batter.
Massachusetts, which reeled off three straight wins in the loser's bracket last year, will play again tomorrow at 5:30 p.m. against the loser of the Michigan State/Washington game which is slated to begin at 3:00 p.m. The game will be broadcast live on WPNI (1430 AM) and also on the Internet for free at www.umassathletics.com through SportsJuice.
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