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November 30, 2016

Minutewomen take on Dayton in A-10 double-header

The Massachusetts softball team continues Atlantic 10 conference play as it faces Dayton in a double-header Sunday afternoon.

UMass (31-7-1, 12-0 A-10) was originally scheduled to face off against Connecticut for the second time this season yesterday. However, the Huskies’ Big East double-header against Seton Hall has been rescheduled to Thursday due to a rain storm, forcing the game against the Minutewomen to be cancelled. As of now, no plans have been made for rescheduling the matchup.

The Flyers (16-32-1, 4-10 A-10) come into Sunday’s games after splitting two games against St. Bonaventure. The win over the Bonnies in Game 2 broke a seven-game losing streak for Dayton.

Game 1 resulted in a 7-2 loss, where St. Bonaventure scored all seven runs in the first and second innings. Pitcher Amanda Daly took the loss for the Flyers, despite striking out seven batters in both games. The freshman also threw 11 scoreless innings over the two games.

Daly brings a 4.20 ERA and is 5-9 for the season. Opposing batters average a .294 batting average against her and she leads her team with three saves for the season.

Eva Rappe and Sarah Wedel have also helped out on the mound this season, with a 4.69 and 4.77 ERA, respectively. Rappe is 6-9 for the season, followed by Wedel who is 5-14.

The two runs scored in Game 1 came off of a home run from Morgan Lee and an RBI from Anne Maci. Lee has five home runs for the season and boasts a .489 slugging percentage.

Offensively, Dayton has struggled this season. They have been shut out 12 times so far this season and have two players batting slightly over .300. Kathleen Maloof and Molly Meyer are the two players who have provided an offense spark for the Flyers, with batting averages of .317 and .301, respectively.

Maloof helped out in the win of Game 2 with a run scored in the third inning. She leads Dayton with a .514 slugging percentage and 25 RBIs for the season.

Meyer has also batted strong, with eight RBIs and 43 hits this season. The senior leads her team with an on-base percentage of .390. In the victory over the Bonnies, Meyer became the Flyer’s all-time leader in hits with a career total of 185. Meyer went 3-for-4 in the game with an RBI and run scored.

Starting pitcher Sara Plourde will face the two offensive threats after moving into second place for the most strikeouts in UMass history. The sophomore’s season total of 440 sits behind Danielle Henderson who set the record in 1999 with 465. Plourde’s career total of 500 strike outs is shared with two other pitchers, Henderson and Brandice Balschmitter.

The Minutewomen most recently swept Rhode Island in a double-header, 9-2 and 3-1, showing their consistency and strength on offense. Katie Bettencourt and Sarah Reeves continue to prove themselves as offense threats as they went a perfect 3-for-3 and 4-for-4 in Game 1.

Power-hitters Michelle Libby and Meghan Carta, with slugging percentages of .563 and .642, respectively, also contributed to the wins. Libby hit her seventh home run of the season, along with Libby helping out with a double in Game 2.

The leftfielder looks forward to continuing A-10 play at home with the support of fans, as the Maroon and White will remain home for the remainder of the regular season.

“It’s nice to be able to play the rest of these games at home and give ourselves the home-field advantage,” Libby said after the URI sweep.

In conference play, Carta is fourth with nine homeruns and a .632 slugging percentage. Reeves has also played strong in the A-10, earning a fifth-best slugging percentage of .624.

UMass looks to remain undefeated in the A-10 as Dayton travels to the UMass softball complex Sunday with play beginning at 12:00 p.m.

Geena Lombardi can be reached at glombard@student.umass.edu.

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