UAlbany Takes Down UMass Lowell in Double Header
Score: Game 1: UAlbany 1, UMass Lowell 0 / Game 2: UAlbany 4, UMass Lowell 2
Location: Albany, New York - Albany Field
Records: UAlbany (27-13, 12-4 AE); UMass Lowell (19-25, 12-4 AE)
Short Story: The UAlbany Softball team defeated UMass Lowell back-to-back on Friday in the first two games of the final three-game series of the season. The winner of tomorrow's game will win the regular season title.
How It Happened
Junior pitcher Celeste Verdolivo led the UAlbany Great Danes to a 1-0 victory over UMass Lowell in the first game of the series, pitching a shut out with five strikeouts. Verdolivo has a record of 13-2 so far this season.
The first game was a tight race as neither team let up any points for the first six innings. The Great Danes saved all of the action for the final inning as McKenzie Bump doubled to center field and set the wheels in motion for UAlbany to take the lead. Katie Falotico then hit a single bunt while Bump remained on second base. Kelly Spear hit a clutch RBI-double to center field that brought McKenzie Bump around to score the one run that UAlbany needed to win the game. The final score was 1-0.
Freshman pitcher Maranda Jimenez led UAlbany to its second win of the day. She faced 25 batters and struckout seven of them. This was Jimenez's ninth win of the season.
The second game remained scoreless until UMass Lowell's Courtney Cashman hit an RBI-double in the fourth inning. UMass Lowell kept the one-run advantage until the sixth inning when UAlbany scored four runs.
Katie Falotico was hit by a pitch and advanced to first base before Alexis Phillips entered the game to pinch run for her. Kelly Spear then reached on a fielder's choice while Phillips advanced to second. Shaye Swiatek entered the game to pinch run for Spear. Chelsea Heinge then hit a two RBI-double to center field that brought Swiatek and Phillips around to score. Alexa Corben then entered the game to pinch run for Henige. Sarah Petzold hit a two RBI homer that gave the Great Danes a three-run advantage.
Although UMass Lowell scored again in the seventh inning, it was not enough to overtake the Great Danes. UAlbany won 4-2 in the second game.
The third game of the series will be the deciding factor on which team wins the regular season title.
Comments From Coach Chris Cannata
"Today was two really well played games by both teams. Celeste and Maranda pitched great today and kept us in both games. Kelly Spear got a huge clutch hit to win the first game in the bottom of the seventh and Chelsea got a huge clutch hit to put us ahead in the second game. It felt like everybody on the team did something to help us win today so I’m very proud of that effort."
Next: UAlbany will play the third and final game of the series against UMass Lowell Saturday, May 5th at noon on Albany Field. The softball team will be honoring the senior class of 2018 before the game.