Softball Falls To Texas A&M-Corpus Christi 6-2 In NCAA Tournament

KJ Kelley had a solo home run in UMass' 6-2 loss to TAMUCC Saturday.

KJ Kelley had a solo home run in UMass' 6-2 loss to TAMUCC Saturday.

May 21, 2005

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AUSTIN, Texas -- Four errors led to three unearned runs for Texas A&M-Corpus Christi (42-10) as it eliminated Massachusetts (37-26-2) from the NCAA Regional Tournament, 6-2, Saturday afternoon at McCombs Field on the campus of the University of Texas. UMass pounded out five hits in the loss, including a solo home run off the bat of junior KJ Kelley (Rainier, Ore.).

The Islanders broke a scoreless game open with five runs in the top of the fourth inning. Corpus-Christi had left seven runners on base through the first three innings but capitalized on UMass miscues in the fourth. Lauren Peters led off the inning with a walk and moved up a base when Erica Armenta reached on an infield single. After junior pitcher Jenna Busa (Lexington, Mass.) got Michelle Petree to strike out, the wheels came off for the Minutewomen.

Holly Kellogg laid down a bunt in front of the plate. Junior catcher KJ Kelley (Rainier, Ore.) fielded it, but threw the ball into right field. Right fielder Denise Denis (Middle Grove, N.Y.) then picked up the ball and threw it away trying to throw home. Two runs scored and Kellogg was able to get to third base. The Islanders were able to score three more runs in the inning. Senior Barb LaFogg (Williamsburg, Mass.) relieved Busa mid-way through the inning.

UMass got one of the runs back in the bottom of the fourth. Kelley hit a two-out solo home run making it a 5-2 game. The home run was the first hit and run of the tournament for the Minutewomen and also broke up a perfect game by TAMUCC pitcher Sarah Pauley. Denis and freshman Stacy Cullington (Encinitas, Calif.) then drew back-to-back walks, but freshman Lauren Proctor (Redmond, Wash.) grounded out to end the threat.



UMass kept scratching back and got another run on the board in the bottom of the fifth inning. LaFogg led off with a single, her first hit in a UMass uniform, and got to second base on an error. She then scored one batter later when freshman Sarah Hurd (Warwick, R.I.) doubled down the left-field line. Hurd was still at second base three batters later when sophomore Amanda Morin (Worcester, Mass.) singled up the middle. Hurd was held up at third, but Morin was able to advance to second on the throw home. Kelley came up with two runners in scoring position, but struck out to end the inning.

That would be the last threat for the Minutewomen as Pauley retired seven of the final eight UMass batters.

Busa allowed five runs (two earned) on seven hits and three walks in 3.1 innings pitched. She struck out three. LaFogg gave up an earned run on four hits and two walks. She struck out one.

Pauley scattered five hits in the win and fanned nine. The Islanders will now move on to face Mississippi State in an elimination game Saturday night. UMass concludes its season with a 37-16-1 overall record.

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