UMass softball’s offense comes alive in 16-6 win over Yale

By Jamie Cushman

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(Cade Belisle/Daily Collegian)

(Cade Belisle/Daily Collegian)

The Massachusetts softball team’s offense was firing on all cylinders Wednesday as the team rolled to a 16-6 five-inning mercy-rule victory over Yale, setting season-highs for both runs and hits.

The game was originally scheduled to be played in Amherst but was moved to Yale’s DeWitt Family Field due to the poor conditions of Sortino Field.

UMass (6-15, 1-5 Atlantic 10) tallied 17 hits, including four doubles, one triple and two home runs en route to the team’s first mercy rule win of the season.

Coach Kristi Stefanoni was pleased with her team’s offensive showing and thinks it could help the team get back on track following a three-game losing streak and a tough stretch where the team lost 10 of 11 games.

“(I saw) a happy team,” Stefanoni said. “A team that looked very excited that they were finally able to put some runs up on the board like that and run-rule somebody. It was really good for our confidence, it was a good morale booster. I saw the team that I know that we can be offensively.”

Half of the Minutewomen’s runs came in the high-scoring third inning where the team scored eight runs and sent 13 batters to the plate.

The highlight of the inning came when senior Anna Kelley marked her return to action with a three-run home run. Kelley missed the previous three games against Saint Joseph’s last weekend due to injury.

Senior Bridget Lemire also cleared the fences with a three-run homer in the fourth inning, bringing UMass’ lead to 10 runs and helping secure the mercy rule win.

Other Minutewomen who fared well at the plate included freshman infielder Gianna Hathaway, who went 3-for-3 with a double to lead off the fourth inning and junior catcher Olivia Godin, who also went 3-for-3 with a triple and three runs batted in.

On the mound, senior Caroline Raymond struggled early, but found her groove midway through the game. After allowing two runs on two hits and a walk in the first inning, Raymond responded with two back-to-back no-run innings.

She had a bit of a lapse again in the fourth inning, allowing four runs, three of which were unearned. Raymond finished with three strikeouts and three earned runs over five innings, improving her record to 4-9 for the season.

Stefanoni stressed Raymond’s ability to start off an inning on the right foot as an important factor for the pitcher moving forward.

“Putting walks on the board and walking the first batter of every inning never really ends well for anybody,” Stefanoni said. “But the fact that she was able to come back in the middle of the game and settle down and get the first out for us I think was really great for her.”

If the conditions of Sortino Field hold up, the Minutewomen are set to host their first home game of the season on Friday at noon against George Washington. The three-game series will feature a double-header on Saturday.

“It will be a tough one for us,” Stefanoni said about the upcoming matchup with the Colonials. “They’re always a good, scrappy team. Plus, it’s (a) conference (game) so it always adds on a little pressure for us.

“But if we stay within ourselves and remember small victories like what we got today, we’ll be alright.”

Jamie Cushman can be reached at [email protected]