Sara Plourde one-hits BC for 5-1 win

By Patrick Strohecker

Jeff Bernstein/Collegian

The Massachusetts softball team continued its winning ways yesterday, by defeating the Boston College on the road, 5-1.

The win was the team’s sixth in a row and its second of the season over the Eagles, giving it a season sweep of BC.

The game did not start the way that UMass (22-11, 8-0 A-10) would have liked.    After failing to score in the top half of the first inning, the Eagles (20-18, 2-10 ACC) took advantage of senior pitcher Sara Plourde’s rocky start. Plourde walked the bases loaded in the inning, and eventually walked in the first run of the game to give BC a 1-0 lead.

The Minutewomen squandered its first opportunity in the second inning when Christine Della Vecchia popped out to end the inning with runners on second and third. But, UMass tied the game at 1-1 when Cyndil Matthew singled to lead off the inning and then scored on a Quianna Diaz-Patterson single.

The fourth and fifth innings went by with neither side threatening to break the deadlock, but in the fifth, it was the Minutewomen who opened up the game.

Plourde got the inning off to a good start with a one out single, then pinch runner Mikayla Panko scored on a Tiffany Meeks double to give UMass its first lead of the game. Teea Rogers continued the scoring when she drove in Meeks from second on a double of her own, to move the UMass lead to 3-1. The Minutewomen ended the inning with three runs on four hits and a 4-1 cushion.

After the Eagles didn’t muster any runs to cut into their deficit, Plourde hit her eighth home run of the season in the seventh inning to expand the UMass lead to 5-1. The hit was her second of the day. BC was unable to answer in the bottom of the seventh and the game ended in a UMass victory.

In the game, UMass totaled 11 hits. Plourde led the way for the Minutewomen with three hits, and she extended her hitting streak to five games, while Matthew and Meeks each had two hits. Diaz-Patterson, Rogers, Lindsey Webster, and Katie Bettencourt each had one hit. Matthew also added two steals and one run scored on the day. Diaz-Patterson’s lone hit of the day extended her hitting streak to a team-high 12 games.

Despite her struggles in the first inning, Plourde settled down and walked three batters the rest of the game. She recorded 16 strikeouts, surrendered one hit, and hit a pair of batters. She improves her record to 21-9 on the season and has now won her last five starts.

Boston College pitcher Nicole D’Argento threw six innings, of four-run ball. She allowed nine hits, two walks and struck out five. Amanda Horowitz pitched the final inning for BC, as she allowed one run, on two hits.

Andrea Filler was the only Eagle to register a hit off of Plourde. The No. 3 hitter in BC’s lineup smacked a single in the bottom of the third to break up Plourde’s no-hitter.

UMass will now return home for its 10 game home stand, beginning with a two game series against Saint Joseph’s this Friday and Saturday. Its busy weekend will continue with a doubleheader on Sunday against Temple, with the first pitch of Game 1slated for noon. Game 2 will begin when Game 1 ends.

This weekend will start a stretch in the Minutewomen’s schedule in which they will play 12 out of their last 14 games within the Atlantic 10. UMass currently leads the conference, but is being closely trailed by the Fordham who is 11-1 on the season. Those two teams will meet for the final time on May 4 and 5 at Fordham.

Patrick Strohecker can be reached at [email protected] and followed on Twitter at MDC_Strohecker.