River Hawks Softball Take Down Hartford in DH
LOWELL, Mass. – Senior Madison Alcorn (Lowell, Mass.) went yard three times to help lead the UMass Lowell softball team (10-17, 4-1 AE) to a doubleheader sweep against America East rival Hartford (6-16, 0-5 AE) on Saturday afternoon.
The River Hawks, who ended both games in just six innings, defeated the Hawks, 14-5, in game one and 9-1 in game two.
“I thought we had a great day all around,” said Head Coach Danielle Henderson. “The team was really excited for our home opener. We were in it from the first inning of the first game all the way to the last inning of this past game. We played well on defense and in the circle, and I thought we had some great at-bats.”
With her performance, Alcorn slugged 1.500, while adding four runs and three RBI. Sophomore Courtney Cashman(Danvers, Mass.) batted a team-best .857 (6-7) on the day with five runs scored. Classmate Marianne Sparacia (Spring Hill, Fla.) also totaled six hits (.750) and senior Vanessa Cooper (Pleasant Gap, Pa.) led the squad with six RBI. As a team, the River Hawks struck out just once in 61 at-bats.
Hartford started off game one with a pair of unearned runs, but the lead was short-lived, as Alcorn led off the bottom of the first with a solo home run off the batting cages in right center and redshirt-sophomore Casey Harding (Cheshire, Conn.) added an RBI double to left center to make the score 2-2.
The scoreboard remained even through the second before Capria struck out the side in the top of the third and the River Hawks rallied for six runs in the home half of the inning. Alcorn got things started with the go-ahead run on her second long ball of the day, this time just inside the left-field foul pole. Senior Samantha McQueen (Ewing, N.J.) also recorded an RBI two-bagger in the at-bat, as the team batted around to take an 8-2 advantage.
UMass Lowell extended its buffer by one more in the fourth thanks to a sacrifice fly by freshman Sara Siteman (Hudson, N.H.). Hartford chipped away the difference with a two-run homer in the fifth and a sacrifice fly of its own in the sixth. However, the River Hawks were able to end the game on their next trip to the plate with the help of a bases-clearing double from Cooper, making the final score, 14-5.
In game two, the River Hawk defense made quick work of the early innings when Sparacia laid out for a line drive on a double play in the first and Siteman fired down to second to catch a runner stealing to end the second.
UMass Lowell broke open the scoring in the third with six runs on four hits, including a two-run rope by Cooper. The first baseman then carried that momentum into the top of the fourth, going over the fence in foul territory to come up with the ball and end the visitor’s at-bat.
Both sides went three-up and three-down in the fifth and although Hartford plated one in the top of the sixth, Alcorn went yard once again in the bottom of the inning before freshman Sarah Ratcliffe (Pelham, N.H.) sealed the 9-1 decision with a two-RBI shot down the left field line.
The River Hawks and Hawks will wrap up the three-game series tomorrow, Sunday, April 8, with a 12 p.m. tilt.
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