November 24, 2014

Scrolling Headlines:

UMass forward Zach Coleman excels in increased role against Florida State -

Monday, November 24, 2014

Front to Back: Week of Nov. 17, 2014 -

Monday, November 24, 2014

SLIDESHOW: Basketball Hall of Fame Tip-Off Tournament -

Monday, November 24, 2014

CMASS holds ‘Half Empty or Half Full?: What is Sustainability?’ meeting -

Monday, November 24, 2014

UMass women’s basketball splits weekend series in Hospitality Hill Challenge -

Monday, November 24, 2014

‘Dragon Age: Inquisition’ is epic and moving -

Monday, November 24, 2014

For-profit colleges are driving student debt -

Monday, November 24, 2014

SLIDESHOW: Project X Student Showcase -

Monday, November 24, 2014

The Martha Graham Dance Company gives traditional, yet innovative and strong performance -

Monday, November 24, 2014

UMass international students prepare for Thanksgiving in America -

Monday, November 24, 2014

Lammily doll defies life in plastic, and it’s fantastic? -

Monday, November 24, 2014

Do you have a social allergy? -

Monday, November 24, 2014

UMass basketball outlasts Florida State 75-69 -

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Minutemen ride strong bench play to 75-69 win over Florida state -

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Micheletto apologizes to fans, aims to regroup following 11-1 loss -

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Vermont throttles UMass hockey 11-1 -

Saturday, November 22, 2014

UMass guard Trey Davis: ‘There’s a lot coming at me right now’ -

Saturday, November 22, 2014

UMass ‘big four’ neutralized by Notre Dame in 81-68 loss -

Saturday, November 22, 2014

UMass basketball can’t corral Grant, Irish in 81-68 loss -

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Frustration haunts Minutemen in 5-3 loss to Boston College -

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Minutewomen continue to show offensive improvement

Cade Belisle/Daily Collegian

Cade Belisle/Daily Collegian

When the University of Massachusetts softball team got off to a 3-14 start, head coach coach Kristi Stefanoni said that her team needed to avoid giving up big innings that allowed their opponents to run away with the win.

These days, it is the Minutewomen who are the ones putting up big numbers against the opposing teams, combining to win their last two games by a combined score of 27-10. Stefanoni said that her team’s performance over the past week has been great to see as it proves how hard they’ve been working at practice.

“I think it’s a true testament to their hard work and dedication to the game, and not giving up on anything,” she said. “They’ve been doing everything we’ve asked them to do and more, so I really think it’s pure dedication to wanting to get better every day and the true passion they have for this team.”

During UMass’ recent sweep over Saint Bonaventure, the Minutewomen were able to showcase their true offensive strengths, putting up several crooked numbers in the first game scoring eight and six runs in two separate innings en rout to a 17-2 victory.

In the second game of the doubleheader, UMass scored a total of nine runs in two innings, completing a 10-8 comeback over the Bonnies. Stefanoni said it’s fantastic to see her team put up these big innings against opponents, and not the other way around.

“The first game we had versus Saint Bonaventure the second inning was big for us, I think we put up three runs,” she said. “After we allowed them to come back and score two, I brought them into the huddle and told them that this team wasn’t going to lay down because we scored three runs against them in the first inning. To go back out there and have those big innings where we scored eight and six runs felt really good.”

Perhaps one of the biggest reasons for the Minutewomen’s recent offensive surge has been junior Bridget Lemire, who just recently was awarded Atlantic-10 Player of the Week, along with pitcher Caroline Raymond. Lemire went on a tear this past week, hitting .583 with four home runs, 10 runs batted in, and six runs. She now leads the team with five home runs, and has seen her batting average skyrocket to .357.

“I’m really proud of Bridget,” Stefanoni said. “She has been working her tail off on really becoming a prolific hitter for this team and someone we can call on and depend on. I can’t say enough about Bridget, she’s come such a long way.”

Although her team has won seven of its last eight, Stefanoni made it clear that she is all about the future, and has told her players that the past is the past and they need to continue moving forward.

“I think that they’re going to need to continue working hard at practice, they can’t lay down for anything,” Stefanoni said. “You can never put your shoulder back on the chair and relax because the minute you do that, somebody is going to pass you. We can’t look back at the runs we’ve scored and the hits we’ve gotten because it’s in the past.”

“I keep telling the kids every day to keep their eyes on the prize, and if we keep doing what we’re doing, we’ll be satisfied in the end.”

Jason Kates can be reached at jkates@umass.edu.

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