Reeves no longer slumping, instead surging
The senior, with a team-leading slugging percentage of .624, showed her consistent hitting last Saturday against St. Louis. In her last at-bat of the game, Reeves hit a double with two outs and put herself in a position to score the winning run. However, the final batter struck out to end the inning and leave the game at a 3-3 tie.
Since then, Reeves went a perfect 4-for-4 in Game 1 against Rhode Island. She started by singling to left field to get on base, but was left stranded after advancing to second. Reeves repeated her initial hit by singling up the left side again in the third inning. The senior went on to double in fourth inning and was sent home from a Katie Bettencourt home run. She ended the game with a triple to left center and tacked on an additional UMass run from a Bettencourt single.
However, Reeves has yet to break the record of a hit in seven-straight appearances at the plate. The record was set in 1980 by Jackie Gaw and tied by Chris Ciepiela in 1986. Reeves tied this record earlier in the season, however her five back-to-back hits falls short by three hits of taking first place in UMass history.
Sophomores lead UMass
Along with fellow classmate Reeves, Katie Bettencourt also played an important role in recent victories.
The sophomore went a perfect 3-for-3 in Game 1 against URI, highlighted by a two-run home run in the fourth inning. Bettencourt is batting .360 for the season along with a .588 slugging percentage, helped out by six home runs. She also contributed with a single in the third that led to a run scored, followed by an RBI single.
Bettencourt received Atlantic 10 honors on April 12 after leading the Minutewomen to a victory over Boston College and Charlotte. In the BC game, the sophomore hit a three-run home run that gave her a slugging percentage of 1.300 for the week.
In the 3-0 win over Charlotte, Bettencourt provided all three runs for her team. A double led to her scoring the first run of the game, followed by a two-run home run in the sixth inning to ensure the victory.
The outfielder has scored 26 runs, placing her behind fellow sophomore Kyllie Magill with 30, and has also helped out with 21 RBIs.
Pinch runners help out
UMass boasts a collection of pinch runners and hitters who have helped out this season to provide an added offensive spark. Specifically, freshmen Cyndil Matthew and Christine Della Vecchia have been used for the crucial positions.
In the recent sweep of URI, the freshman pair played a big role. Della Vecchia pinch ran for Reeves after a single got her on base in the third inning. She proceeded to steal second base and advanced to third on a walk. A second walked batter brought Della Vecchia home to score the second run of Game 1 for the Minutewomen.
Matthew also showed her speed in Game 1, stealing second base after pinch running for Jessica Serio. She advanced to third on a throwing error, but was unable to score as Michelle Libby popped up to second base and left Matthew stranded.
The freshman also provided offensive spark in Game 2, as she scored on a double steal of first and third base. Despite only four hits for the season, Matthew has proved herself as a successful pinch runner with 14 runs scored and is 10-for-12 in stolen bases this season. Della Vecchia has contributed two runs, along with two stolen bases.
Geena Lombardi can be reached at email@example.com.