Western softball sweeps UMass Dartmouth on Senior Day, 9-1 and 7-2

Box Score - Game 1
Box Score - Game 2

DANBURY, CT (Apr. 21) — Senior Magen Dargon (Trumbull, CT) and sophomore Stephanie Moss (Brookfield, CT) each pitched complete-game victories for the Western Connecticut State University softball team in a sweep of Little East Conference rival UMass Dartmouth Saturday afternoon at Westside Field.

In game one, Dargon allowed no earned runs and only two hits as she dominated the Corsair batters over seven innings.  After getting the first six batters out in order over the first two innings, Dargon walked UMass Dartmouth sophomore Becky Williams (Hope Valley, RI) to start the third inning, but then struck out the next three batters to end the inning.

After failing to score in the first, Western got a lift from its seniors to get on the scoreboard in the second.  Senior Samantha Avery (Rocky Hill, CT) got things started for the Colonials on a single with one out, followed by a single from senior Kristin Ferrante (New Paltz, NY).  Senior Melissa Fracker (Sandy Hook, CT) then tripled to drive in two runs, and scored on a single by senior Danielle Basciano (Holmes, NY) to give Western a 3-0 lead after two innings.

UMass Dartmouth got one run back in the top of the fourth when sophomore Emily Pontes (Tewksbury, MA) led off with a single and later scored on a Western throwing error.  The damage could have been much worse for the Colonials, but with two out and the bases loaded, Dargon got Corsair senior Hannah Rounds (Lincoln, RI) to strike out looking for the third out.

Western went quietly in the bottom of the third and fourth innings, but broke the game open by batting around in the fifth.  After Western’s first two batters reached safely on an error and a hit batter, freshman Nina Wojtkiewicz (Griswold, CT) bunted to move the runners up.  Three straight singles by senior Jackie Zilnicki (Riverhead, NY), sophomore Kylee Ruther (Stamford, CT), and freshman Erin Biskup (Poughkeepsie, NY) scored three runs, and the Colonials scored a fourth on an infield ground-out off the bat of freshman Danielle Locke (Staten Island, NY).

Zilnicki hit a walk-of single in the bottom of the sixth to push the Western lead to eight runs, 9-1, ending the game and closing our the victory for Dargon.

Like Dargon, Moss dominated the UMass Dartmouth batters early, allowing only a first-inning walk, before getting the side out in order in the second, third, and fourth innings.

For Western, Basciano scored after leading off both the first and third innings.  Zilnicki hit a bunt double in the third to score Basciano and later scored on a single by freshman Christine Bighinatti (Rocky Hill, CT) for a 3-0 Western lead after three innings.  Fracker crushed a ball deep off the fence in center field in the bottom of the fourth and scored on a bunt single by Wojtkiewicz to add to the Colonial lead.

With one out in the top of the fifth, Corsair senior Kaitlin Hogan (Tewksbury, MA) drew a walk and scored when Williams hit a shot over the fence in left, possibly Moss’ only mistake of the afternoon, to trim the Western lead to 4-2.

Western got two runs back in the bottom of the fifth and added one in the sixth to make the final margin 7-2 in game two.

With the sweep, Western now stands at 21-11 on the season and 3-5 in the Little East Conference.  UMass Dartmouth moves to 9-23 and 3-7 in the LEC.  Western’s double header scheduled with LEC rival Southern Maine has been pushed back one week and will be played on Sunday, April 29th.  The Colonials return to action on Tuesday, April 24, when they travel to play in-state and Little East Conference rival Eastern Connecticut.  First pitch for game one is scheduled for 5:00pm.

Western Connecticut 8, UMass Dartmouth 1 (Game 1)
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UMass Dartmouth..... 000 100 0 -  1  2  2      (9-22, 3-6 LEC)
Western Connecticut. 030 051 X -  9 13  1      (20-11, 2-5 LEC)
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Pitchers: UMass Dartmouth - Brittany Eldridge; Ashley Felaccio(5). Western Connecticut - Magen Dargon.Win-Magen Dargon(14-5)  Loss-Brittany Eldridge(6-7)

Western Connecticut 7, UMass Dartmouth 2 (Game 2)
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UMass Dartmouth..... 000 020 0 -  2  2  0      (9-23, 3-7 LEC)
Western Connecticut. 102 121 X -  7 12  0      (21-11, 3-5 LEC)
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Pitchers: UMass Dartmouth - Brittany Eldridge. Western Connecticut - Stephanie Moss.
Win-Stephanie Moss(6-6)  Loss-Brittany Eldridge(6-8)