May 12, 2011
Box Score in PDF Format
CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Defending Atlantic 10 Champions Massachusetts topped #3 Saint Joseph's, 3-1, in game five of the 2011 Atlantic 10 Softball Championship, at D.L. Phillips Softball Complex in Charlotte, N.C., behind A-10 Pitcher of the Year Sara Plourde's 13 strikeouts. With the win, UMass improves to 29-17 while the Hawks fall to 29-15.
Massachusetts struck early with a lead-off home run in the first by Kylie Magill, but Saint Joseph's answered with a home run of its own by Monica Aguilar in the top of the second.
The Hawks quickly cooled off as Sara Plourde would retire the next nine batters and keep the Hawks hitless through the sixth. The junior would book 13 strikeouts on the day and allow just three hits and one run in seven innings of work.
"[Plourde] did a good job of moving the ball around and she came up big when the chips were down," said Massachusetts head Coach Elaine Sortino, "="so I'm pretty happy with her performance today."
The Minutewomen would take the lead in the fourth when Jordan Storro doubled to right centerfield to score Audrey Boutin and advance Stephanie Mayne to third. Cyndil Matthew brought Mayne home on a single up the middle, giving Massachusetts a 3-1 lead to close out the inning.
"I just had two strikes on me and I knew I had to take a hard piece," Jordan Storro, who had the game-winning hit, said. "I had two of my teammates on base and one of them needed to score to get us ahead in the game."
Saint Joseph's put together a comeback in the seventh as Aguilar, who went 2-for-3, started the inning with a single, followed by a Dana Bieniek single to put runners on first and second for the Hawks. Both would advance on a sacrifice bunt by Deanna Stinner, but both would be left on base as Plourde retired Shannon Kramer to seal the victory.
Plourde improves to 27-13 with the win, while Erin Gallagher now sits at 22-9 on the season.
The Hawks will face the winner of the elimination game between #4 Temple and #5 Charlotte, Friday afternoon.
The Minutewomen advance to face top-seeded Fordham, Friday, May 13 at 1:00 p.m.