Minutewomen complete season sweep of Eagles in Boston

By Jeffrey Okerman

Michael Wood/Collegian File Photo

The Massachusetts softball team completed a season sweep over Boston College with a 7-4 win in Chestnut Hill on Tuesday.

The win was the eighth victory of the last nine games for the Minutewomen (10-17), who began the season winning just two of their first 18 games.

UMass coach Elaine Sortino is paying no attention to the numbers in the wins and loss columns, however.

“Honestly, no,” Sortino said. “We are just working everyday, asking ourselves ‘Are we getting better?’ The wins will take care of themselves, all we’re worried about is consistently improving.”

Starting pitcher Caroline Raymond went the distance to pick up the win, striking out four while throwing a career-high 151 pitches. Raymond’s opponent, Eagles freshman Stephanie Lord, lasted just two innings. She gave up three earned runs on six hits without recording a strikeout or walk, before being replaced by Chelsea Dimon, who went the rest of the way.

Sortino was pleased with her team’s performance in the win.

“I thought it as a solid performance from Caroline,” Sortino said. “I thought she was supported well by her team both offensively and defensively.”

For Raymond, it was the third consecutive game in which she has pitched an entire game without relief. However, Sortino does not put too much stock into how many games she has pitched, instead focusing on what she has learned from those games.

On offense, though the Minutewomen collected 10 hits along with seven walks, they left 11 runners on base. Boston College (9-22) also left 11 runners on base. Defensively, the Minutewomen made just one error, well under the 2.5 errors averaged per game.

While impressed with the team’s defensive efforts throughout, Sortino was less than impressed with certain periods on offense.

Despite opening the scoring with three runs in the top half of the second, the Minutewomen left two runners on base before leaving the bases loaded in the third.

“We certainly did (leave a lot of runners on base),” Sortino said. “I was disappointed offensively in the middle innings. We just didn’t seem to be able to finish. At the plate we were looking for the walk rather than driving the ball and that came back to hurt us.”

Tiffany Meeks and Christine Della Vecchia started the away half of the second with back-to-back singles. Following Lindsey Webster’s sacrifice bunt, Teea Rogers’ single to center drove in Meeks and Della Vecchia. Samantha Gray followed Rogers with a single down the right field line to drive her in.

In the third, Taylor Carbone, Meeks and Della Vecchia all walked to open to load the bases. After a Rogers strikeout and a fielder’s choice which prevented pinch runner Lindsey Zenk from adding a run, Gray picked up her second RBI after being hit by a pitch. However, with the bases still loaded, Cyndil Matthews struck out looking to end the threat, limiting the damage to just the one run.

Shortstop Quianna Diaz-Patterson registered a standout performance at the plate on the afternoon. Though she did not record any runs or RBI, Sortino thought her output was just what is expected from her second hitter.

“She was really solid today,” Sortino said. “She was strong at the plate. She had some great at-bats and a good eye.”

UMass returns home to host Boston University on Thursday with the first pitch scheduled for 5 p.m. at Sortino Field.

Jeffrey Okerman can be reached at [email protected] and followed on Twitter @MDC_Okerman.