Softball Suffers Season-Ending 10-4 Loss To BU In NCAAs

Bailey Sanders struck out five batters in five innings of work

Bailey Sanders struck out five batters in five innings of work

May 22, 2010

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AMHERST, Mass. - A four-run first inning and three-run innings in the third and fifth led Boston University to a 10-4 victory over UMass in an elimination game on Saturday afternoon in the NCAA Amherst Regional at the UMass Softball Complex. The Minutewomen's season ends with a record of 42-10-1, while the Terriers advance to the 7:30 p.m. game against Long Island for the right to face Arizona State in Sunday's regional final.

Sara Plourde (40-8) pitched one inning, allowing four runs on two hits and two walks while striking out two before being taken out of the game with a hip injury. Bailey Sanders entered the game to start the second inning and worked the final five frames, allowing six runs on seven hits and two walks while striking out five.

Cassidi Hardy started in the circle for BU, going three and 2/3 innings and allowing four runs, three earned, on five hits and two walks. Whitney Tuthill (12-5) pitched the final three 1/3 to earn the victory, allowing two hits and no runs.

The Terriers took control early with a big first inning, plating four runs on two hits and one UMass error. After a walk and an infield single by the first two batters, April Setterlund doubled to left center, driving in two runs. After a strikeout, Rachel Moeller's bunt drove in the third run and Whitney Tuthill followed with a sacrifice fly to right, making it a 4-0 game.

The Minutewomen cut the deficit to one run, scoring three times in the top of the third inning. Jessica Serio led off the inning with a single and after a throwing error on Teea Rogers' sacrifice bunt put two on, Katie Bettencourt's infield single drove in UMass' first run. Carly Normandin followed with a sacrifice fly to left field and Whitney Williams singled to right center to bring in another run and make it a 4-3 game.

Leading by one, BU tacked on three runs in the bottom of the third inning to take a 7-3 lead. A leadoff single and a wild pitch on a third strike set up Moeller's RBI single through the left side. With one out, Caitlin Rentler singled up the middle to bring in two more runs.

Down by four runs in the top of the fourth, the Minutewomen scratched out one run after back-to-back one out singles, a walk, and an illegal pitch on Hardy. Normandin worked a walk to reload the bases with two out, but UMass could not capitalize on the opportunity as Tuthill entered the game in the circle to replace Hardy and Whitney Williams drove a ball deep to right field that Christina Valdes made an over-the-shoulder catch to end the inning.

Leading 7-4, BU put up another three-run inning in the fifth. A walk, three singles, and a wild pitch to start the inning brought in two runs. After a walk loaded the bases, UMass got a force out at the plate on a ground ball to the pitcher. With one out, Rachel Hebert lined a ball to shortstop where Williams came up with the ball and threw to third base. After a meeting between the umpires, it was ruled to be not a catch, giving the Minutewomen the force at third and a run to score for BU, giving it a 10-4 lead.

Plourde finishes her sophomore campaign the nation's leader in strikeouts and victories, while breaking the UMass single-season record in both categories. Her 556 strikeouts on the season is the ninth-highest total in NCAA history.

No. 21 UMass won its 22nd Atlantic 10 Championship, and sixth-straight, in 2010. After making its 16th-straight NCAA Tournament appearance, sixth straight.

UMass is now 29-42 all-time in NCAA Tournament games.



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