Massachusetts Daily Collegian

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

Minutewomen bounced from NCAA tournament

First baseman Sarah Reeves rounds the bases during one of UMass' wins against Dayton. She received Atlantic 10 tournament MVP after finishing with five home runs. (Jeff Bernstein/Collegian)

The Massachusetts softball team’s season came to an end with a loss to Long Island and Boston University in the NCAA Amherst Regional tournament.

Against Long Island, Carly Normandin hit a solo home run to put the Minutewomen (42-10-1) up by one in the fifth inning. However, the Blackbirds (38-16) wasted no time in the sixth inning as Bianca Mejia homered over the center field wall to tie up the game.

Brynn Lewis stepped up to the plate, after UMass pitcher Sara Plourde forced a fly out from the previous pitcher, and hit the second home run for LIU over left field to take the lead for her team.

With a 2-1 lead coming into the seventh inning, Karina Cervantes singled to get on base first for the Blackbirds. After two LIU batters grounded and fouled out, Emily Kakuska singled to right center to bring home Cervantes and score the final run for Long Island.

Senior Bailey Sanders relieved Plourde after five innings and allowed the final run. Plourde allowed two runs on four hits during the game and walked one batter.

UMass coach Elaine Sortino said Plourde was battling a hip injury since May 22 during the Atlantic 10 tournament, which affected her pitching for most of the postseason.

“The bottom line is that on her stride leg she can’t plant and if you can’t plant you can’t pitch,” Sortino said. “I thought she gave it a valiant effort [on Friday]. We prayed that [her hip] would be better [on Saturday] and it wasn’t.”

The 3-1 loss to the Blackbirds prompted an elimination game to be held on Saturday at 5 p.m. against Boston University.

BU (34-21) started off the first inning strong, spurred by an April Setterlund double to drive in two runs. Plourde struck out the next batter, however Rachel Moeller bunted to drive in a third run. The Terriers’ fourth and final run of the inning came from a sacrifice fly to right field by Whitney Tuthill.

Bailey Sanders took the mound in the second inning for the Minutewomen and forced three consecutive outs. The Maroon and White offense took over in the third, bringing the score within one run.

Katie Bettencourt drove in the first run by singling to shortstop and driving in pinch-runner Christine Della Vecchia. Teea Rogers, who advanced to third on the Bettencourt single, scored an unearned run off of a sacrifice fly from Normandin. Shortstop Whitney Williams also provided a single to bring home Bettencourt, but the inning ended on two quick outs.

An illegal pitch in the fourth inning allowed sophomore Jordan Storro to score for the Minutewomen, but it would not be enough to make a comeback.

BU’s final six runs came in the third and fifth innings to take the 10-4 victory. The Terriers first scored three runs off of two singles in the bottom of the third inning, helped out by a wild pitch from Sanders that moved the runner into scoring position. Another single in the fifth inning brought in an addition run for BU, followed by a wild pitch that allowed Rachel Moeller to score. A fielder’s choice to shortstop brought in the final run for the Terriers and ended UMass’ season.

Plourde took the loss in the circle, bringing her record to 40-8 for the season. The sophomore allowed four runs on two hits in the one inning she pitched, along with striking out two batters. Plourde finished her season with a nation-leading 556 strikeouts, along with the most victories in the nation.

Geena Lombardi can be reached at [email protected].

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    sarah louise higginsJan 9, 2012 at 12:42 pm

    Ewwww…they are wearing their doodoo jerseys.