Hitting leads UMass to 7-5 win over Terriers
BOSTON – The Massachusetts softball team defeated Boston University for the second time this season, 7-5, led by two home runs from senior Sarah Reeves.
The game was a slugfest on both sides, with the Minutewomen (26-7, 8-0 Atlantic 10) recording four home runs for the day, and the Terriers (20-14, 5-1 America East) with two, including a grand slam.
“It was a great win for us against a non-conference opponent,” Reeves said. “They’re a tough opponent, always, so they gave us a run for our money, and it was a good win.”
UMass came alive in the second inning, started off by a Meghan Carta single towards centerfield. Jessica Serio followed with the third single of the inning to get on base and moved Carta forward to second. After a long 10-pitch at bat, freshman Teea Rogers pulled through for UMass and singled to center field, allowing Carta to score from second base.
With Rogers at first base and Serio at second, Michelle Libby swung at the first pitch she saw and hit a three-run home run to put the Minutewomen up by four runs.
The Minutewomen’s offense was just as strong in the fourth; Reeves started out the inning with a solo home run to centerfield. Carta wasted no time, swinging at the very next pitch and hitting UMass’ third home run of the day. The junior increased her home runs for the season to six and slugging percentage to .584.
“The second home run I was 2-2 in the count and just tried to battle, and the ball was there so I just took a nice cut at it,” Reeves said.
BU’s first run of the game came in the bottom of the fourth inning, when Whitney Tuthill hit a solo home run to put BU on the board. Pitcher Sara Plourde recovered from the home run, which was her fourth hit of the game allowed, and struck out the final batter to end the inning.
After going 1-for-3 in her first meeting with Plourde, April Setterlund hit a grand slam over the right field wall to bring the score within a run. Two batters walked to start the fifth inning and a single up the middle loaded the bases for the Terriers. Setterlund came up to bat and hit her 11th home run of the season to cut the Minutewomen’s lead to 6-5.
UMass recovered in the top of the sixth inning, as Reeves hit her second home run of the game and sixth of the season. The senior is batting .296 on the season and increased her team-leading RBIs to 24 for the season with two in today’s game.
“I felt comfortable all day at the plate,” Reeves said. “We worked on a couple different things in pregame and it showed up all throughout the lineup.”
The Terriers looked to make a comeback in the seventh inning, as Erica Casacci singled to get on base and advanced to second on a wild pitch. Setterlund stepped up to bat and hit a fly ball to centerfield, but Carly Normandin was there to make the out.
Plourde allowed eight hits for the day, along with walking four batters and striking out nine.
“I thought it was a great game for her because it forced her late in the game to start throwing alternate pitches that she hasn’t been fond of using but were very effective, so I think it just makes her a better pitcher,” UMass coach Elaine Sortino said of Plourde.
UMass will travel next to Storrs, Conn. to face UConn Friday afternoon.
Geena Lombardi can be reached at email@example.com.