Massachusetts Daily Collegian

UMass softball falls flat against Fordham, 6-0

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Olivia Godin (Robert Rigo/Daily Collegian)

Olivia Godin (Robert Rigo/Daily Collegian)

A disastrous second inning for the Massachusetts softball team in which it surrendered six runs, effectively ended Sunday’s 6-0 loss to Fordham before it barely even begun.

“We just allowed it to get away in all areas just by slumping our shoulders a little bit and maybe mentally giving up,” UMass coach Kristi Stefanoni said. “That was the inning that definitely did it for us and after that we were able to settle in pretty good.

“We would probably still be playing this game if that inning didn’t happen.”

But unfortunately for the Minutewomen, the second inning did happen. After senior first baseman Bridget Lemire dropped a routine popup to open the frame, senior pitcher Caroline Raymond walked the next batter.

Raymond then committed an error of her own on an errant throw to third base after fielding a hard ground ball hit right back at her. This loaded the bases for the Rams’ Sydney Canessa, who broke the game open with a grand slam.

A single and two walks loaded the bases again for redshirt junior Rachel Gillen, whose single up the middle knocked in the final two runs of the game.

“We had a plan and I believe we were following it very well but just that one inning they got all those runs and we didn’t come back,” UMass shortstop Quianna Diaz-Patterson said.

The Minutewomen tallied seven hits Sunday but were unable to plate any runs.

“We just got a couple spots in the lineup that aren’t coming through with runners in scoring position,” Stefanoni said. “We’ve got to work on (hitting) pitches in different locations so that way, when there are runners in scoring position, we can somehow figure out a way to get them through.”

UMass drops two Saturday

The Minutewomen failed to build off the momentum of winning three games last week, losing game one of Saturday’s doubleheader, 12-4.

Like early in Sunday’s game, Raymond struggled with her command in Saturday’s opener, issuing six walks over five innings of work.

Lemire shined at the plate, playing a role in all four UMass runs. Her double in the fifth inning scored Diaz-Patterson, putting the Minutewomen on the scoreboard. She then scored a run of her on an ensuing double from Taylor Carbone.

Lemire plated two more in the seventh inning with a two-run home run, her fifth of the season.

Fordham took control of game two immediately after senior Paige Ortiz hit a grand slam in the first inning. The Rams added another four runs in the second, taking firm control of the game before cruising to a 13-3 victory that lasted just six innings due to a mercy rule.

Freshman Meg Colleran struggled on the mound for the Minutewomen, dropping her record to 1-8 for the season and bringing her ERA to 6.09.

Lemire added her second homer of the day in the fifth inning, accounting for the Minutewomen’s final run of the day.

Despite dropping three games to Fordham, Stefanoni still believes she has a strong team; she just needs them to prove it soon.

“They are a good team, they’ve shown flashes of it throughout the year,” Stefanoni said. “So now is a big test for them. How are you going to bounce back, you got to drop failure real fast in this game and be better for Tuesday.”

UMass now has a busy week ahead of it, playing seven games over seven days. The week begins with a doubleheader at Rhode Island on Tuesday before returning to Amherst for a doubleheader against Marist on Thursday and a three-game series with St. Bonaventure over the weekend.

Tuesday’s games offer the Minutewomen their best chance to gain some ground in the conference standings, facing a struggling Rams team (1-26).

Jamie Cushman can be reached at [email protected]

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