Scrolling Headlines:

UPDATE: SGA announces second and third artist for ‘Mullins Live!’ -

February 23, 2017

Divest UMass and STPEC host panel on building ‘solidarity economies’ in the Trump era -

February 23, 2017

UMass women’s basketball losing streak extends to 10 games after loss to URI -

February 23, 2017

Sixth annual Advocacy Day set to take place March 1 -

February 23, 2017

Panel discusses racial, sexual and psychological violence in response to art exhibit -

February 23, 2017

Judy Dixon enters final season with UMass tennis with simple message: One match at a time -

February 23, 2017

UMass baseball enduring early-season limitation in playing in New England -

February 23, 2017

Minutewomen softball begins season with cross-country travel, string of tournaments -

February 23, 2017

UMass baseball looks to bounce back from disappointing 2016 season -

February 23, 2017

UMass women’s lacrosse senior Hannah Murphy is Angela McMahon’s latest legend in the making -

February 23, 2017

UMass women’s lacrosse senior defenders accept leadership roles in quest for ninth consecutive Atlantic 10 Championship -

February 23, 2017

Kelsey McGovern rejoins UMass women’s lacrosse as an assistant coach after starring for Minutewomen -

February 23, 2017

UMass men’s lacrosse looks to continue improving throughout 2017 season -

February 23, 2017

Spring Sports Special Issue 2017 -

February 23, 2017

UMass men’s lacrosse defense relying on senior leadership with new faces in starting lineup -

February 23, 2017

UMass softball fills holes left by seniors with freshmen for 2017 -

February 23, 2017

The Hart of the Lineup -

February 23, 2017

UMass men’s lacrosse defenseman Tyler Weeks makes his way back from ACL injury -

February 23, 2017

UMass softball prepares for a long, busy season in 2017 -

February 23, 2017

Quiet beauty roars in ‘Lion’ -

February 23, 2017

Sara Plourde and Meghan Carta power Minutewomen to eighth-straight victory

Jeff Bernstein/Collegian

With Saturday’s game rained out, the Massachusetts softball team did the most it could in its one game this weekend, defeating conference rival Dayton, 9-1, on Friday.

Sara Plourde was her dominating self, overwhelming the Flyers through all seven innings, striking out 17 batters, and allowing just three hits and one walk.

After surrendering a second inning solo home run to Dayton’s Brandy Brown, Plourde retired eight in a row, seven via the strikeout, en route to her 15th win of the season.

“She was again a little bit more consistent than the last time she went out,” said UMass head coach Elaine Sortino. “She’s getting stronger and getting a little bit more pop on the ball everyday. Her consistency paid off very effectively. [Dayton is] a very strong hitting team. They swing free and very powerfully so I thought she contained them very well.”

While Plourde has been effective each time around, her catcher has had difficulty consistently producing out of the No. 4 spot in the lineup.

Yet one pitch in the third inning made all the difference.

Meghan Carta hit the first pitch of her second at-bat over the left field wall for a grand slam, erasing a 1-0 deficit.

Coming into Saturday, Carta had one home run to her name this year after hitting 13 all last year.

“She’s been struggling,” said Sortino. “She’s been working very hard this last week and trying to iron out her mechanical flaws. She felt better coming into the weekend and obviously it’s paying off. She’s definitely swinging a better bat for us.”

Sortino knows that the team is counting on her veteran catcher to provide the example for the number of young players on the team.

“She’s one of our returning starters, one of very few, and it’s really important that she be able to make contributions to the team offensively,” said Sortino. “Obviously, she’s done very well defensively. The best play of [Saturday’s] game was when she threw out a runner to end the game. I thought that was fantastic. She’s a great catcher and it’s nice to see her coming back alive offensively.”

Carta is now batting .237 for the season with two home runs and 17 runs batted in.

Soon after Carta crossed the plate, Stephanie Mayne launched the next pitch over the wall for the second of back-to-back homers, capping the five-run third and putting UMass up 5-1.

The Minutewomen added three more runs in the sixth, helped by a passed ball and an error by the Flyers defense.

Cyndil Matthew went 3-for-4 and drove in two runs, one in the sixth and seventh innings. Lindsey Webster also had a multi-hit game, going 2-for-4 with a run scored and an RBI.

The win was the eighth in a row for UMass, a streak that began on March 30 with a doubleheader sweep of Dartmouth. The streak also offsets a tough eight-game slide the Minutewomen suffered from Feb. 20 to March 4.

UMass will now travel to Connecticut for a Wednesday matchup before coming home for an 11-game homestand that will run for two weeks and feature seven different visiting teams.

Pete Vasquez can be reached at pvasquez@student.umass.edu.

Leave A Comment