The University of Massachusetts Boston softball team did not have the luxury of returning to Boston after their match in Florida and playing on their home field like the baseball team did; instead they had to go play a double-header at Emmanuel College. The Beacons certainly were up for the challenge as it showed in their play in both games. They began their year with a 5–5 record in Florida, and they were eager to improve it. The way the two games turned out could not have been more different, but the Beacons surely were thrilled with both outcomes.
In game one, freshman Hayley Catania was given the start for UMass Boston. Emmanuel was able to strike first and build a 3–0 lead by the end of the second inning. That’s when the Beacons came to life, as junior Gigi Braga got things started with a base hit. Junior Giovanna Bonilla reached base with a bunt single, putting two runners on with senior Roxanne Vento at the plate. She is playing as well as anyone in college softball right now, and, sure enough, she hit a three-run home run, setting the program record for career home runs at 14. Senior Alyssa Tulley drove in two runs in the fourth inning, while Bonilla added a run batted in of her own.
Through five innings of play, UMass Boston sat comfortably with an 11–6 advantage. That all changed in the blink of an eye, as Emmanuel exploded for five runs in the bottom of the sixth to tie this game up. That was when junior Jess Greenspan entered the game and stopped the bleeding. With the score still 11–11, this back-and-forth affair could not be decided in seven innings, so we headed into extras. Junior Kiera Prusmack singled up the middle to drive in the go-ahead run, and sophomore Cassidy Gaeta added an insurance run to make the score 13–11. Greenspan closed things out in the home half of the eighth, giving the Beacons their sixth win of the season.
Game two went a lot different, as the Beacons got off to a quick start and never looked back. Vento stood out as she had three hits and three runs batted in. Senior Taylor Pawlina added two runs batted in as well, while Bonilla, Gaeta, and sophomore Tori Dicenso all drove in one run a piece. Jess Greenspan was back on the mound, and she was lights out. She pitched five innings and only gave up one hit while striking out four. The Beacons won 8–0 in five innings due to the mercy rule.
Between the two games, Vento had five hits, six runs batted in, and a home run. Greenspan finished with two wins, six strikeouts, and only gave up three hits over 7.2 innings of work. The two of them have been spectacular through the Beacons first 12 games, and they are showing no signs of slowing down. This week, UMass Boston will play three straight double-headers. The first will be at 4 p.m. on Tuesday at Salve Regina University, the second at 3 p.m. on Thursday at Bridgewater State University, and then UMass Boston will finally have their home opener at 1 p.m. on Saturday against Western Connecticut University. With these matches, the Beacons will definitely be looking to improve their current 7–5 record.