UMass softball sweeps St. Bonaventure behind strong pitching from Caroline Raymond

By Adam Aucoin

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Robert Rigo/Daily Collegian

Robert Rigo/Daily Collegian

Most pitchers hope for one no-hitter in their career. For Massachusetts softball pitcher Caroline Raymond however, she was three outs away from getting two in one week.

But unfortunately for Raymond, a dribbling ground ball by St. Bonaventure shortstop Emily McDonough got past her at the mound and broke up the attempt early in the seventh inning.

Despite the fact she couldn’t get her second no-hitter of the week – she no-hit Rhode Island Tuesday – UMass (14-20, 8-9 Atlantic 10) shut out the Bonnies 5-0.

Raymond admitted she was a little disappointed about losing her no-hit bid. McDonough’s single was one of two hits given up by the senior in her complete game shutout.

“I was a little disappointed when she hit the ball through my legs of all places, but we got the outs we needed and won the game so that’s really all I cared about in the end,” Raymond said.

After the win, UMass coach Kristi Stefanoni said she was once again happy to see her pitcher find success on the mound.

“She was absolutely phenomenal out there today and she was zoned in from the first pitch,” Stefanoni said. “I think that she knew that she had a no-hitter going so it probably made her a little anxious and excited. She was able to calm down and bounce back though and that’s what makes a great pitcher.”

Raymond added: “This was a game that we really needed. I was trying to keep walks off the board and throw strikes and get ahead. My approach seemed to work for me today.”

Raymond threw a total of 83 pitches on the day and only faced one batter over the minimum.

At the plate, it didn’t take long for the Minutewomen to take control. Senior first baseman Bridget Lemire hit a homerun in the bottom of the first to put UMass ahead for good.

Lemire finished 2-for-3 on the day while senior shortstop Quianna Diaz-Patterson continued her torrid pace going 3-for-3 with a homerun. She comes out of the weekend batting a team-high .525.

Sunday was also Senior Day at Sortino Field, as a short ceremony took place before the game to honor the six seniors on the UMass roster.

Stefanoni had nothing but good things to say about this group.

“They have played such a pivotal role this year for us,” Stefanoni said. “They all have come up in clutch situations for this team and delivered. Leadership-wise and softball-wise all these girls will be missed.”

UMass sweeps Saturday double header

Saturday’s results were not as pretty as that on Sunday, but in the end, the same outcome showed on the scoreboard as the Mintutewomen picked up a pair of 5-4 victories over St. Bonaventure.

UMass’ top two hitters in Lemire and Diaz-Patterson played pivotal parts in the wins, picking up a combined eight hits in the two-game set.

Lemire went 4-for-7 with a homerun and four runs batted in on the day. The homer came in walk-off fashion in the second game. Meanwhile, Diaz-Patterson finished 4-for-6 with a homerun and three RBIs.

Raymond picked up the win on the mound in game one while Meg Colleran improved her record to 3-8 with a victory in the second game.

“This was a big statement weekend for us,” Raymond said about earning the sweep. “Coming in and getting three big wins really puts us back in the picture.”

Adam Aucoin can be reached at [email protected]