Dargon pitches Western to a sweep of UMass Boston, 16-2 and 6-4

Box Score - Game 1
Box Score - Game 2

DANBURY, CT (Apr. 28) — Senior Magen Dargon (Trumbull, CT) recorded a total of 18 strikeouts and picked up her 15th and 16th wins of the season as the Western Connecticut State University softball team swept Little East Conference rival UMass Boston by the scores of 16-2 and 6-4 Saturday afternoon at Westside Field.

In game one, Dargon struck out the Beacons in order in the top of first inning and had five strikeouts through the first three innings.  Western game Dargon all the game-one run support she would need when the first three Colonial batters all scored.  Senior Danielle Basciano (Holmes, NY) was hit by a pitch to start the bottom of the first, and ended up scoring in all four plate appearances in game one.  Freshman Amanda Rizzo (North Haven, CT) and senior Jackie Zilnicki (Riverhead, NY) followed Basciano home in the first  to give Western a 3-0 lead after one inning of play.

The Colonials scored single runs in the second and third innings to push the lead to 5-0, but the Beacons got on the board in the top of the fourth.  Sophomore Natalia Bouyea (East Longmeadow, MA) hit a one-out single  and scored on a double by freshman Samantha Hemstock (Northford, CT).  Sophomore Erika Vecchiet (Pequannick, NJ) followed with a sacrifice fly, cutting the Western margin to 5-2.

In the bottom of the fourth, Western exploded for 11 runs on 11 hits, sending 14 batters to the plate.  Basciano hit a one-out single to start the rally and score the first run of the inning for the Colonials, and added a two-out home run in her second at-bat of the inning.  In between, Western strung together six singles, a double and a walk, with the only out coming when Zilnicki was thrown out at home as she tried to score on a Dargon single.  In Dargon’s second at-bat of the inning, she doubled off the fence in right-center to drive in the 10th and 11th runs of the inning, before junior Alison Russo (Danbury, CT) ended the inning with a deep fly to left.

UMass Boston got a lead-off walk from pinch-hitter Kelsey Sevenson (Oxford, CT) in the fifth, but she was doubled off first base when the next Beacon batter, sophomore Toni Scola (Worcester, MA), hit a sharp liner to Rizzo at second base.  Dargon got the final UMass Boston batter to strike out looking to secure the 16-2 win in game one for Western.

In game two, Dargon recorded at least one strikeout in every inning, finishing with 12 for the game.  Bouyea drew a lead-off walk in the top of the first inning for UMass Boston as the Beacons took their first lead of the afternoon, but like game one, Western’s first three batters scored to give the Colonials a 3-1 lead after one.

Dargon recorded two strikeouts in the second, one in the third, and three more in the fourth, as she dominated the Beacon batters.  Western added a run in the bottom of the third on three straight singles by Russo, sophomore Kylee Ruther (Stamford, CT), and freshman Christine Bighinatti (Rocky Hill, CT), tacked on one more in the fourth inning when Rizzo hit the first home run of her Western career over the fence in left field, and pushed the lead to 6-1 when Ruther hit a ball in the same spot in the fifth.

Dargon got the Beacon batters out in order in the top of the sixth, and in the bottom of the sixth Western was held scoreless as two of the three outs were the result of Western runners being thrown out while attempting to steal.

In the top of the seventh, freshman Lauren Perra (Taunton, MA) led off with a walk for UMass Boston and advanced to second on a one-out bunt-single by senior Jaci Goodwin (Melrose, MA).  Bouyea loaded the bases for the Beacons with a single down the line in left field, and after another Dargon strikeout, senior Maria Nasta (Andover, MA) drove in one run for the visitors with a hard smash off the glove of Western third-baseman Nina Wojtkiewicz (Griswold, CT).  With two out and the bases still loaded, and error by Rizzo at second base allowed two UMass Boston runs to score, but when the following batter grounded out to Basciano at short, Western held on for a 6-4 win and a sweep of the day’s doubleheader.

With the sweep, Western now stands at 25-13 on the season and 5-7 in the Little East Conference.  UMass Boston moves to 16-18 and 3-11 in the LEC.  The Colonials return to action on Sunday, April 29, when they host LEC rival Southern Maine at Noon.
                                  
Western Connecticut 16, UMass Boston 2 (Game 1)
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UMass Boston........ 000 2   0 -  2  4  1      (16-17, 3-10 LEC)
Western Connecticut. 311 (11)X - 16 18  1      (24-13, 4-7 LEC)
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Pitchers: UMass Boston - Kara Willis. Western Connecticut - Magen Dargon; Stephanie Moss(5).
Win-Magen Dargon(15-7)  Loss-Kara Willis(7-8)  T-1:15  A-150

Western Connecticut 6, UMass Boston 4 (Game 2)
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UMass Boston........ 100 000 3 -  4  7  2      (16-18, 3-11 LEC)
Western Connecticut. 301 110 X -  6 13  1      (25-13, 5-7 LEC)
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Pitchers: UMass Boston - Michelle Zullo. Western Connecticut - Magen Dargon. Win-Dargon(16-7) Loss- Zullo(9-9)