January 27, 2015

Scrolling Headlines:

UMass closes ahead of inclement weather -

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Monday, January 26, 2015

UMass tops Merrimack 4-1 to cap off successful weekend series -

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‘Broad City’s’ second season off to a wickedly funny start -

Monday, January 26, 2015

Students respond to Obama’s State of the Union address -

Monday, January 26, 2015

St. Bonaventure earns tight victory, VCU clinches 11th straight win in Atlantic 10 men’s basketball action -

Monday, January 26, 2015

An open letter to the people who were kind when I was struggling -

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UMass club hockey salvages weekend with tie against NYU on Saturday -

Monday, January 26, 2015

2015 Winter TCA’s announce bevy of show returns and new releases -

Monday, January 26, 2015

Brilliant online film archives for cinema lovers -

Monday, January 26, 2015

UMass men’s and women’s track and field teams see mixed results in Joe Donahue Indoor Games -

Monday, January 26, 2015

Steve Mastalerz, defense delivers for UMass hockey -

Monday, January 26, 2015

UMass online graduate programs climb U.S. News & World Report rankings -

Monday, January 26, 2015

Front to Back: Week of Jan. 25, 2015 -

Sunday, January 25, 2015

BLOG: UMass football receives seven verbal commitments -

Sunday, January 25, 2015

UMass plans to fail again with Super Bowl guest policy -

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Special teams play fuels late UMass rally, forces tie -

Saturday, January 24, 2015

BLOG: UMass hires Mark Michaels as special teams coordinator, outside linebackers coach -

Friday, January 23, 2015

Former Tibetan political prisoner overcomes odds in Tibet and the US -

Thursday, January 22, 2015

UMass basketball falls flat in loss to St. Joe’s -

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Click here to visit UMass Dining
Click here to visit UMass Dining

Minutewomen face Hawks for 3rd time in A-10 tournament

Jessica Serio swings at a pitch during the Minutewomen's double-header against Dayton on May 2. UMass will face Saint Joseph's in Round 2 of the Atlantic 10 tournament on Thursday. (Jeff Bernstein/Collegian)

The Massachusetts softball team couldn’t have asked for a better draw than playing a team it just beat in a double-header earlier this week, especially one it shut-out in both games.

UMass (38-7-1, 17-0-1 Atlantic 10) will play Saint Joseph’s for the third time this week in the Second Round of the A-10 tournament. The Minutewomen tallied a combined 13 runs against the Hawks (28-16, 12-7 A-10) while the defense kept them scoreless throughout both games.

The Maroon and White won Game 1, 5-0, by getting to SJU pitcher Erin Gallagher early, scoring three runs in the first inning. Defensively, UMass pitcher Sara Plourde held the Hawks to two hits and recorded 13 strikeouts to give her 501 strikeouts on the season.

The win clinched the top seed for the Minutewomen and allowed senior Bailey Sanders to get her first start since March 7. UMass scored eight runs to end the game after five innings as Sanders also pitched a two-hitter while throwing six strikeouts.

Both teams will meet again after the Hawks defeated Saint Louis, 5-2, in 11 innings. The Billikens are the only team that kept the Minutewomen from sweeping the A-10 schedule by forcing a tie at three apiece before inclement weather called off an eight-inning affair.

Despite its success against UMass, it couldn’t overcome SJU’s extra-inning rally.

With the game tied at two, the Hawks’ catcher Brooke Darreff reached on a fielding error by SLU third baseman Rachel Falletto.

The next batter, Monica Aguilar, drew a walk before advancing on a sacrifice bunt that put runners on second and third base. Freshman Deanna Stinner scored both runners on a single down the right field line.

She eventually moved to second after a throwing error and then scored the third run after sophomore Alaina Loguidice hit a two-out single.

Gallagher finished the game with a career-high 18 strikeouts.

The Hawks will need a similar type of performance from Gallagher if they hope to keep the Minutewomen from continuing their unbeaten streak in the conference.

The only time UMass didn’t win the A-10 Championship since 1995 was in 2004 when it lost to SJU. However, the Minutewomen haven’t gone undefeated in the A-10 since 1996, a year that they won the A-10 tournament.

If the Hawks hope to have some level of success against UMass, it will have to be more patient at the plate and look to draw out Plourde’s pitch counts. When the sophomore pitcher isn’t throwing strikes regularly, she tends to give up more hits, which will put more pressure on the offense to drive in runs.

They also need to prevent the Minutewomen from having a strong first inning. UMass tends to score most of its runs in the first inning, which brings the momentum over early in the game.

Although SJU did not fare well against the Minutewomen a few days ago, its win over a team that nearly beat UMass should give it plenty of confidence going into the game.

The winner will place either Fordham or Charlotte on Friday.

Adam Miller can be reached at amiller@dailycollegian.com.

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