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Ninth Inning Rally Propels River Hawks to 4-2 Win at Boston U

Courtesy of UMass Lowell athletics
BOSTON, Mass. – Junior Vanessa Cooper (Pleasant Gap, Pa.) roped what would be the game-winning home run to right center to help lead the UMass Lowell softball team (16-17) to an exciting, 4-2 victory in nine innings at Boston University (14-22) on Tuesday.

“On defense and in the circle we did a really good job,” said Head Coach Danielle Henderson. “At the plate, we had 17 hits, but we just didn’t come through with clutch hits or take advantage of some opportunities. There were moments where I thought we could have opened it up earlier, but we didn’t and that’s what makes for these exciting, nine-inning games.”

Cooper finished the day 3-for-5 at the plate with two RBI and one run scored. Senior Alisha Welch (Langley, British Columbia) added three hits of her own, as the River Hawks combined for 17 hits as a team on the day. Sophomore pitcher Kaysee Talcik, who allowed just one hit through six innings, earned the win with six strikeouts to improve to 7-8 this season.

The Terriers knotted the score at 1-1 on two-bagger in the bottom of the seventh to force extra innings. Both sides made noise in the eighth, as UMass Lowell left the bases loaded and BU’s Kaitlin Sahlinger was caught in a rundown rounding third to keep the scoreboard even.

The River Hawks pulled ahead in the ninth when freshman Courtney Cashman (Danvers, Mass.) plated junior Samantha McQueen (Ewing, N.J.), who had started the inning with a double to the wall. Cooper then laced her two-run long ball to give the team the insurance runs it would need to take the 4-2 decision.

Talcik and Makinna Akers controlled the pace of play from the circle in the early part of the contest, as the teams combined for just four hits in the first three innings. The River Hawks collected two of those in the top of the second off the bats of Cooper and junior Madison Alcorn (Lowell, Mass.), although the squad was unable to get on the board in that at-bat.

The visitors did, however, break up the scoreless pitchers’ duel in the top of the fourth when Cooper and Welch each found the grass before sophomore Sydney Barker (Upland, Calif.) checked in as a pinch hitter and dropped a RBI single just inside the left field line to put UMass Lowell on top, 1-0.

The Terriers went three up and three down in their next three trips to the plate, keeping the one-run buffer intact heading into the seventh.

BU scored the final run of the game on a solo homer in the bottom of the ninth, but senior pitcher Lauren Ramirez (Dracut, Mass.) came out of the bullpen in relief to log the final three outs, picking up the save and securing the win.

Boston University still owns an 11-3 edge in the all-time series against UMass Lowell in the sport of softball. The River Hawks are back in action this weekend when they make the trek to Stony Brook for a three-game America East Conference series on Saturday-Sunday, April 22-23.

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