Stetson scores in 8th on balk, edges Maine 3-2

Posted March 06, 2012, at 9:41 p.m.
Last modified March 06, 2012, at 10:30 p.m.

DELAND, Fla. — Relief pitcher Fran Whitten balked home the eventual winning run with two outs in the eighth inning Tuesday night as 19th-ranked Stetson University eked out a 3-2 baseball victory over the University of Maine.

Sophomore Mike Connolly, making his first collegiate start on the mound, pitched 7 1/3 strong innings for UMaine (3-6). He allowed only three hits and three runs, but issued two leadoff walks in the sixth and eighth innings that led to runs for the Hatters.

Connolly, who struck out seven and walked five, wound up throwing 114 pitches.

Mike Fransoso tripled, singled and scored a run for the Bears, who managed only five hits.

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Ryan Lashley stroked a run-scoring single for Stetson (10-2).

UMaine threatened in the ninth as Tyler Patzalek was hit by a pitch, but Whitten struck out, pinch runner Robbie Trask was erased on Nick Bernardo’s grounder and Troy Black grounded into a game-ending fielder’s choice.

The Bears threatened to take the lead in the eighth inning when Justin Leisenheimer walked and Fransoso was hit by a pitch. One out later, Alex Calbick reached on an error by the shortstop and Leisenheimer scored the tying run, but Fransoso was cut down at the plate.

Stetson regained the lead when Mitchell Brennan worked a leadoff walk and moved up on a wild pitch by Connolly, who was lifted with one out. Whitten got an out before his balk allowed Brennan to score.

The Hatters took a 1-0 lead in the second as Spencer Theisen singled, stole second and scored on a fielder’s choice. The Bears equalized on Fransoso’s triple and Calbick’s sacrifice fly.

However, Stetson went back ahead in the sixth on a leadoff walk to Sam Kimmel, a wild pitch and Lashley’s single.

Softball

UMaine loses two

Jessica Tieszen’s two-run home run highlighted a three-run third inning that helped the University of San Diego beat the University of Maine 7-4.

San Diego State beat the Black Bears 8-0 in the second game.

Chloe Kaneko hit an RBI triple to spark a two-run first inning and added an RBI single in the Toreros’ two-run sixth. Lauren Tomey provided an RBI triple to back Kaitlin Healy, who scattered four hits and six walks while going the distance.

Jean Stevens singled and scored on an illegal pitch in the second inning for the 4-12 Black Bears, who scored three times in the seventh thanks to two walks, two errors and three wild pitches.

Beth Spoehr allowed six hits and six earned runs in 5 2/3 innings.

At San Diego State, the Aztecs jumped on Black Bears starter Kylie Sparks for six hits and six earned runs in the first inning to give the hosts a comfortable early lead en route to an 8-0 victory. The game was shortened to five innings by the eight-run rule.

Rebecca Arbino pitched four innings of one-hit, shutout ball for San Diego State (13-11). Klopp hit a two-run double and a solo home run to pace the Aztecs, who got a two-run double from Tiffany Corder.

Nikki Byron, Jessica Burk and Lindsey Jenkins singled for UMaine.

Men’s Lacrosse

Husson 7, Anna Maria 4

At Paxton, Mass., Wayne Stubbs scored two of his three goals in the fourth period to help the Eagles secure the victory over the AMCats.

Ben Landry registered three goals and an assist for 2-1 Husson University of Bangor. Nick Brown provided a goal and an assist, while Nolan Brown, Matt Tabler and Alex Ryan added assists.

John Hooper III made 16 saves for the Eagles.

Joshua Smith led Anna Maria (1-1) with two goals and an assist and Jason Baker scored twice. Andrew Ellis made nine saves.

Men’s Basketball

Seton Hall 79, Providence 47

NEW YORK — Jordan Theodore put on a show of slick passing and Seton Hall routed Providence 79-47 in the first round of the Big East tournament Tuesday night, a crucial victory for the Pirates’ NCAA tournament hopes.

The senior guard set a career high with 13 assists to go with 13 points, and freshman forward Brandon Mobley scored a career-high 16 off the bench as the 10th-seeded Pirates (20-11) rebounded from a 28-point blowout at last-place DePaul in their regular-season finale Saturday.

Herb Pope added 16 points for Seton Hall, which fell behind 9-0 in this one before dominating the rest of the way to reach 20 wins for the first time since 2003-04.

Next up, a much tougher test Wednesday night at Madison Square Garden against No. 7 seed Louisville.

LaDontae Henton had 14 points to lead the 15th-seeded Friars (15-17), who lost 15 of their final 19 games.

Women’s Basketball

UConn 63, Notre Dame 54

HARTFORD, Conn. — Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis scored 19 points and Bria Hartley added 18 to help No. 4 Connecticut beat third-ranked Notre Dame 63-54 on Tuesday night and win its fifth straight Big East tournament championship.

UConn’s Geno Auriemma became the sixth Division I women’s coach to reach 800 career victories, reaching the milestone in fewer games than anybody else.

The Huskies denied Notre Dame its first Big East tournament title. The Irish, who won the outright regular season title for the first time, have made the tournament championship game six times and lost each one to the Huskies (29-4).

UConn also ended a rare three-game losing streak to the Irish. Notre Dame beat them in the national semifinals last season and then swept the two regular season meetings this year.

Skylar Diggins scored 16 points to lead Notre Dame (30-3).

It’s on to the NCAA tournament for the Irish and the Huskies, where they will both likely be No. 1 seeds.

The Irish were trying to join an elite club by becoming the fourth team to beat Connecticut three times in the same season. Miami was the last to do it, 20 years ago. The Hurricanes also were the last team to knock off UConn in four straight meetings. No team has done that since the Huskies won their first national championship in 1995.

It’s the 18th tournament title for the Huskies and 19th straight year that they have won either the Big East regular season or tournament titles.

After the two teams met last Monday night, UConn was left searching for answers with Notre Dame winning 72-59 on the Huskies’ home floor. The Huskies found them in Hartley and Mosqueda-Lewis, who was selected the tournament’s most outstanding player.

With UConn trailing 36-33 early in the second half, the pair took over scoring all 10 points during a 10-1 run. Mosqueda-Lewis scored the first four on a floater and a jump shot. Hartley finished it off with the last six points, the final two coming after she stole the ball at midcourt and then made an acrobatic layup.

Notre Dame got back within 46-43 with 8:46 left on Kayla McBride’s 3-pointer, but that’s as close as the Irish could get.

Mosqueda-Lewis and Hartley hit back-to-back baskets and UConn didn’t allow Notre Dame a field goal over the next 5½ minutes after Diggins’ lay-in made it a 50-45 with 7:05 left. Diggins finally ended the drought with 1:35 left that brought them within seven, but UConn hit it’s free throws down the stretch to seal the win.

It was the 10th meeting between the two teams in the past three seasons and second in eight days.

Trailing 10-6 early, UConn got going behind Mosqueda-Lewis. She had five quick points to start a 15-3 run. Hartley’s jumper made it 21-13 with 11:27 left in the half. The Huskies extended their lead to 27-17 on another jumper for Mosqueda-Lewis before Notre Dame closed the half on a 13-4 burst. Kaila Turner’s 3-pointer with a second left capped the spurt and made it 31-30 at the half.

It’s the first time all season that the Irish trailed a Big East opponent at the half.

Notre Dame kept the run going scoring six of the first eight points of the second half to take a 36-33 lead on Devereaux Peters’ layup. Before Hartley and Mosqueda-Lewis took over.

It was the second straight game that the third-seeded Huskies wore their road blue uniforms in Hartford. They changed in the visiting locker room and sat on the visiting bench. Still the XL Center had a home feel for UConn, which had most of the crowd of 9,227 cheering on every one of their baskets.

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