BOSTON – The Castleton University softball team earned a road split with UMass Boston in its penultimate doubleheader of the regular season. Castleton scored two in the seventh to win game one, 3-1, before the Beacons earned a comeback victory in the nightcap with a 3-2 victory in eight innings.
With two games still to play, the Spartans sit at 4-10 in Little East Conference (LEC) play and 14-17 overall. Sixth-place Southern Maine (5-7), WestConn (4-6), and Rhode Island College (3-7) sit above the Spartans in the standings as the top six teams reach the LEC Tournament. Castleton will conclude its regular season schedule and honor its seniors on Saturday with a conference doubleheader versus Rhode Island College, set to begin at 2 p.m.
Machaila Arjavich was 5-for-5 to lead Castleton offensively. She had two RBIs, a run scored and reached base safely in all seven plate appearances on the afternoon. Devin Millerick and Jamie Boyle were both 3-for-7. Kylie Wright was the pitcher of record in both games. She earned a complete-game victory in game one on eight hits before surrendering two runs, none earned, on five hits over 4.2 innings of relief.
Castleton 3, UMass Boston 1
A two-run seventh inning broke a 1-1 tie that held since the second inning to propel the Spartans to their fourth conference victory. Boyle hit a one-out single to center before Arjavich doubled down the right field line to put two runners in scoring position. Wright helped her own cause with a sacrifice fly to right field before Kayla Fac looped a two-out single to center to make it 3-1.
After two quick outs in the bottom of the seventh, the Beacons put the tying runs on base thanks to a two-out single to left field followed by a walk. Wright induced a groundout to shortstop to the UMass Boston three-hitter to get out of trouble.
Boston loaded the bases with only one out in the first inning with two singles and a walk. Taylor Pawlina drove in one on a sacrifice fly but that was all the Beacons could get on Wright, as she escaped the jam with a swinging strikeout.
Castleton answered right away in the top of the second with a single run. Consecutive one-out singles by Millerick and Boyle set up an RBI single just over the second basemen and into right field to score the speedy Millerick from second.
The Beacons threatened again with two runners in scoring position with less than two outs in the second but was unable to score the go-ahead tally. After two singles to kick off the bottom of the fourth, Wright retired 11 in a row before the consecutive with one out in the seventh.
Arjavich went 3-for-3 with a double, RBI and run scored to lead the Spartans, while Boyle was 2-for-3. Wright surrendered eight hits in tossing her 12th complete game of the season. She walked two and struck out five.
UMass Boston 3, Castleton 2 (8 innings)
After the Beacons loaded the bases with two outs in the eighth inning, an infield error allowed the run to score from third marking UMass Boston's third walk-off victory over Castleton in the four-game series dating back to 2018.
Trailing by one run and down to its final six outs, Calli Van Gorden led off the Castleton sixth with a triple to the gap in right-center. After Miranda Fish worked a walk, Tori Swaine knocked in a run with a single. Two batters later, Arjavich came through again with a base knock to center to give the Spartans a lead.
Boston tied it at two in the bottom of the inning on an infield error, but Wright left the potential winning run at third after inducing a groundout.
The Spartans loaded the bases in the eighth inning when Swaine and Millerick hit one-out singles and Arjavich was hit by a pitch two batters later. Hayley Cantania registered her biggest strikeout of the game to get out of it.
Catania earned a complete-game victory of her own for the Beacons. She scattered 10 hits over eight innings of work for her seventh victory of the season. She struck out five and walked one.
Wright got two outs after Giovanna Bonilla led off with a bunt single. A single by Gigi Braga advanced her to third and a walk loaded the bases before the winning run crossed.