WALTHAM, Mass. – Bentley University and UMass-Lowell battled to a 4-4 nine-inning draw, with the Falcons stranding the bases loaded in both extra innings, before darkness prevailed in the second half of a Northeast-10 Conference Northeast Division softball doubleheader Wednesday afternoon at Bentley. The visitors took the opener, 7-0, behind the four-hit pitching of freshman Marielle Handley (Durham, Conn.).
In accordance with Northeast-10 bylaws, the tie game will not be resumed.
The River Hawks jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the nightcap, a lead that would have been quicker if an apparent third-inning home run by sophomore center fielder Ariana Darcy (Walkill, N.Y.) hadn't been negated by the runner on first base leaving too early.
Bentley drew even in the bottom of the third when sophomore left fielder Shannon Connor (West Haven, Conn./West Haven HS) hit an inside-the-park home run to right with runners on second and third.
An inning later, the Falcons claimed the lead when junior right fielder Chelsea Tamuk (Port Jefferson, N.J./Earl L. Vandermeulen HS) tripled to right and continued her trek around the bases when the relay from the outfield was thrown away.
Bentley's lead lasted only until the next inning when Darcy cleared the right-center field fence for a home run that counted.
Every half-inning after that saw at least one runner stranded, with Bentley finishing the game with 14 LOB and UMass-Lowell leaving ten. The Falcons had runners on first and second with two outs in both the fifth and seventh, and the bases loaded with two outs in the next two frames.
Freshmen Alex Borrelli (Salem, N.H./Central Catholic HS) and Morgan Mazone (Selkirk, N.Y./ Bethlehem Central HS) each had three hits for Bentley and both Connor and senior second baseman Laura McDonough (Braintree/Braintree HS) had two apiece.
Handley notched her 19th win of the spring in the opener after retiring 13 of the final 14 batters she faced. She didn't issue a walk, struck out two and didn't allow a runner past second base.
The decisive blow for Lowell was a bases-loaded triple by senior second baseman Krista MacKenzie (Ipswich) in the fourth, stretching a four-run lead to seven.
Freshman Kelly Ferris (Seymour, Conn./Seymour HS) had a strong day out of the bullpen for Bentley, allowing only one hit while pitching a total of 6.2 scoreless innings. She came on for the final 3.2 innings of the opener and pitched the final three in game two, striking out three in each contest.
e loss and tie left Bentley at 13-24-1 overall, 7-17-1 NE-10 and 4-11-1 in the division. UMass-Lowell, the Northeast Division leader, left the field 25-18-1 overall, 20-5-1 NE-10 and 13-3-1 division.
Bentley will be back on its home field Thursday for a 3:00 single game against Merrimack College