Uliase strikes out five batters over seven shutout innings
CLERMONT, Fla. (March 16, 2019) – The Western New England University softball team opened its 2019 campaign with a 2-0 victory over the College of Staten Island on Saturday afternoon.
Junior pitcher Paige Uliase (Meriden, Conn.) got the start in the circle for the Golden Bears and shut down the Dolphins with five strikeouts over seven shutout innings.
Staten Island freshman Sierra Kaplanek (Corona, Calif.) paced CSI offensively with a 2-for-3 effort at the plate.
After two scoreless frames, Western New England plated the only two runs of the contest in the bottom of the third.
Sophomore Emilie Decker (Pattersonville, N.Y.) led off with a walk, but the next two batters were retired by freshman pitcher Jaclyn Kateridge (Ronkonkoma, N.Y.).
Sophomore Emily Cooney (Berlin, Conn.) came up next and reached on an error, keeping the inning alive, before Pounds delivered an RBI single to right field. The Golden Bears then successfully executed a double steal, with Pounds taking second and Cooney coming in to score from third base to make it 2-0 in favor of Western New England.
Staten Island's best opportunity to put runs on the board came in the top of the sixth, when the Dolphins loaded the bases but were unable to capitalize.
Senior Antoinette Galbo (Brooklyn, N.Y.) led off with a bunt single, and junior Patricia Riches (Staten Island, N.Y.) reached on an error before Kaplanek came through with an infield single to load the bases.
Uliase struck out the next batter she faced, however, and then recorded the second out of the frame on a fielder's choice. The Golden Bears escaped the jam as Uliase registered an inning ending strikeout to strand three runners on base.
After avoiding trouble in the sixth inning, Uliase retired the side in order in the seventh to seal Western New England's season-opening victory.
• Staten Island outhit Western New England, 6-3.
• The Dolphins left seven runners on base, while the Golden Bears stranded three.
• The win marked the first career victory for Western New England first-year head coach Amanda Novak, who had served as an assistant under Lori Mayhew-Wood for the previous seven seasons.
Western New England (1-0) will be right back in action tomorrow with a pair of games against Albright (12 p.m.) and Marian (2:15 p.m.).