UMass hits the road to take on LaSalle

By Marc Jean-Louis

Cade Belisle/Daily Collegian
Cade Belisle/Daily Collegian

Rain once again kept the Massachusetts softball team from taking the field against Boston University on Tuesday, but as winners of seven of their last eight games, UMass will now turn its attention to the a four-game road trip beginning on Thursday.

The trip begins with conference rival LaSalle on Thursday and Friday. Over their last eight games, the Minutewomen (10-15, 4-2 Atlantic 10) have taken a jump in the conference standings from a tie for last place to sole possession of fourth place.

Junior Bridget Lemire has served as an offensive threat during this span. In UMass’s last four games, Lemire has collected seven hits in 12 plate appearances, including four home runs, ten runs batted in, and six runs scored as the Minutewomen posted a 3-1 record.

In a doubleheader against St. Bonaventure on Saturday, she recorded three home runs, eight RBIs, and four runs scored.

This success at the plate has resonated throughout the team, as the Minutewomen’s batting average has risen almost 50 points from a .235 mark on March 23 to their current mark of .283.

In the pitching circle, Caroline Raymond has regained her form in recent outings. After losing seven of her first nine decisions, she has gone 5-1 and lowered her ERA to a respectable 3.11, which is good for seventh best in the A-10. In addition, her opponents’ batting average of .245 ranks her sixth.

On Thursday, UMass will face an Explorers team (14-14, 6-2 A-10) who, aside from a rainout against crosstown non-conference rival Drexel, are coming off back-to-back shutouts against George Mason.

Led by junior pitcher Alicia Aughton and sophomore pitcher Mary Cate Scott, LaSalle ranks second in the conference with a 3.13 ERA. The duo each hurled complete games against the Patriots, combining to walkjust one and strike out six. Aughton currently leads the conference in ERA with a miniscule 1.85.

At the plate, the Explorers feature a dynamic pair of freshman infielders in Suzanne Swanicke and Michelle Hagarty.

Hagarty is hitting .325 for the season and is ranked second on the team in home runs with five, including most recently a two home run performance against George Mason.

Swanicke ranks first on her team in batting average and sixth in the conference, hitting .363 on the season.

Both games are scheduled to begin at 3 p.m.

Marc Jean-Louis can be reached at [email protected] and followed on Twitter @marc_jean93.