Western New England Splits with UMass Boston & Keene State to Open 2017 Campaign

Western New England Splits with UMass Boston & Keene State to Open 2017 Campaign

Golden Bears walk off with 8-7 win over Owls after dropping 7-2 decision to Beacons

CLERMONT, Fla. (March 11, 2017) – The Western New England University softball team opened up its 2017 campaign with a split against a pair of regional opponents in UMass Boston and Keene State earlier today at Hancock Park. The Golden Bears dropped a 7-2 decision to the Beacons in the first game of the day, before walking off with an 8-7 win over the Owls in game two.

UMass Boston 7, Western New England 2

Top Performers
• Senior captain Gabby Lavinio (Dalton, Mass.) and junior Lindsay Williams (Coventry, Conn.) each went 1-for-2 with one RBI to lead the Western New England offense, while freshman pitcher Aimee Kistner (Taunton, Mass.) surrendered just three hits over 4.2 innings of relief in her collegiate debut.

• Sophomore pitcher Annie Thomas (Lunenburg, Mass.) was impressive in the circle for UMass Boston, going the distance and allowing just one earned run on four hits.   
• Senior Gia Raczkowski (Stoneham, Mass.) and freshman Ari Bilotta (Leominster, Mass.) led the Beacons offensively, going 1-for-2 with one walk and two RBI each.

Game Review
• UMass Boston struck for four runs in the top of the first despite recording just two hits. After the first three batters reached base, Raczkowski drove in a pair with a single to right field and classmate Lauren Mitsiaris (Taunton, Mass.) followed with a sacrifice fly. Raczkowski then came in to score on a wild pitch as the Beacons claimed a 4-0 advantage.
• UMass Boston increased its lead to 5-0 in the second with the help of a Western New England fielding error.
• The Golden Bears broke through for two runs in the third, cutting their deficit to 5-2. With runners on second and third and one out, Williams beat out an infield single, scoring senior Samantha Emmert (Hyde Park, N.Y.). Lavinio came up next and drove in a run with a sacrifice fly, but Western New England was unable to score over the final four frames.
• UMass Boston restored its five-run advantage in the fifth, as Bilotta plated a pair with a triple to right center field.
• The Golden Bears left the bases loaded in the sixth, before going down in order in the seventh.

Notes
• Western New England left five runners on base, while UMass Boston stranded three.
• Emmert and senior captain Katie Wood (Westport, Mass.) recorded one hit each, while senior catcher Corianna DeLisi (Tuxedo, N.Y.) walked and scored a run.
• The Beacons were selected as preseason favorites in the Little East Conference (LEC) Coaches' Poll.

Western New England 8, Keene State 7 (9 Innings)

Top Performers

• Williams led Western New England's offense, which compiled 12 hits, with a 3-for-5 effort at the plate. The sophomore drove in one run and scored another as the Golden Bears rallied to earn a split on the day. Kistner and freshman Danielle Flint (Kinderhook, N.Y.) were also key contributors with two hits apiece.
• Making her first collegiate start in the circle, freshman Paige Uliase (Meriden, Conn.) overcame a tough first inning to earn the victory. Uliase struck out seven batters and allowed four earned runs on ten hits over her nine innings of work.

• Seniors Kayla Votto (Durham, Conn.) and Jenny Galavotti (Marion, Mass.) accounted for seven of Keene State's ten hits, as Votto went 3-for-5 with a double, a triple, one RBI and two runs scored out of the leadoff spot, and Galavotti posted a 4-for-5 effort with a double and two RBI.

Game Review
• For the second straight game, Western New England fell behind early as Keene State got to Uliase for three runs on four hits in the top of the first. Votto got it started with a triple to right field, before scoring on junior Brittany DaMota's (Monroe, Conn.) RBI groundout. The Owls would add two more runs later in the frame to open up a 3-0 lead.
• The Golden Bears, who were held without a hit over the first two innings, put together a two-out rally in the third. Williams reached base on an infield single, before coming in to score on Lavinio's RBI triple to right field. Lavinio then scored on a passed ball as Western New England pulled to within a run.
• Keene State, which led by the same margin entering the seventh inning, tacked on an insurance run in the frame with the help of a Golden Bear error.
• Needing two runs in the bottom of the seventh to stay alive, Kistner led off the inning with a single before eventually coming around to score on a Keene State miscue. Junior Samantha Pelow (Torrington, Conn.) followed with a clutch, pinch-hit RBI single to left field, sending the game to extra innings.
• After both teams scored one run in the eighth, Keene State pushed across a pair in the ninth on RBI hits by Votto and Galavotti.
• Western New England put together one final rally in the bottom of the ninth to claim its first victory of the season. With runners on first and third, Wood singled to center field, and an error in the outfield allowed both runs to score. After Keene State sophomore Molly St. Germain (Dover, N.H.) retired the next two batters and nearly escaped the situation, freshman Carlie Moss (Delmar, N.Y.) delivered a walk-off, RBI single to center field, scoring Wood.

Notes
• Seven Golden Bears recorded at least one hit in the contest.
• Keene State was picked second in the LEC Preseason Coaches' Poll.
• Williams finished the day with a team-high four hits over the two games.

Up Next
Western New England (1-1) will be right back in action tomorrow at Hancock Park with games against Fitchburg State and RPI at 10:30 a.m. and 1:00 p.m., respectively.