Massachusetts Daily Collegian

UMass softball takes two of five in ECU Pirate Clash

By Zander Manning

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(Robert Rigo/Daily Collegian)

(Robert Rigo/Daily Collegian)

After the Massachusetts softball team came away empty handed in its first tournament of the season at the Charlotte First Pitch Classic, UMass’ second trip to North Carolina ended with better results.

On Sunday, UMass (2-6) fell 8-0 in 6 innings to Saint Francis (PA), scrapping together two hits on the afternoon after the Minutewomen had beaten the Red Flash and Bucknell the day prior in the East Carolina University Pirate Clash.

“I felt like it was a roller coaster,” UMass coach Kristi Stefanoni said about the tournament. “We had some big highs and some big lows … Now we have a week and a half until our next tournament and it gives us room to get better.”

“We just have to stick to the positives and know what we need to do to be better,” Stefanoni said. “We have to hold on to Saturday’s wins and stay positive.”

Minutewomen take first of pair against Saint Francis

Sophomore pitcher Megan Colleran dominated Saint Francis Saturday, throwing a complete-game shutout, holding the Red Flash (6-5) to just two hits while striking out four.

First baseman Taylor Carbone got the offense rolling with a two-run homerun in the first inning, as UMass never looked back as it won 3-0.

In the following inning, Kaycee Carbone – Taylor’s sister – matched her older sibling with a solo homerun of her own to give the Minutewomen a 3-0 edge.

The fifth inning was the lone inning that Colleran ran into any trouble, however she left the bases loaded after she got a ground out that left all three runners on base, preventing any damage.

UMass gets first win of season

In the third game of the tournament, the Minutewomen tallied their first win of the season against Bucknell, edging the Bison (3-2) by a final score of 3-2.

“It was really good for them mentally to get those first two wins,” UMass coach Kristi Stefanoni said. “Good to get that weight off their shoulders.”

Shortstop Jena Cozza opened up the game with a leadoff solo homerun to center field to give the Minutewomen a 1-0 lead.

UMass was held off the scoreboard until the sixth inning when Cozza doubled home both Kaycee Carbone and right fielder Erin Stacevicz to give it a 3-0.

After Taylor Carbone allowed a pair of runs in the bottom of the sixth inning, Colleran was called in for relief, as she got Christina Martinez to ground out to second base to end Bucknell’s chance to tie the game.

Colleran pitched a perfect seventh inning for her first save of the season, while Taylor Carbone picked up her first win of 2016.

“It’s good to get our first wins of the season,” Cozza said. “We’re excited, and now that we have the (wins), it gives us confidence because now we know we’re capable of winning.”

Minutewomen fall to Pirates in 10 innings

Against ECU (7-5) Colleran pitched a career-high nine innings, but would get the loss as host Pirates won 6-5 in the 10th inning on a walk-off two-run double by Karlie Smith.

After seven innings, Minutewomen and ECU tied 2-2, however the two teams would each exchanged runs in the eighth and ninth before the UMass took a 5-4 lead heading into the bottom of the 10th.

“It was definitely disappointing to play so well and not come out with a win after fighting so hard,” Colleran said when asked about Saturday’s loss.

While Colleran was disappointed about the result of the game, the rest of the team sang her praise and focused on her great performance. Stefanoni was especially proud of the sophomore pitcher.

“She pitched a great game,” Stefanoni said. “It really gives me and the rest of the team confidence in her to go deep into games.”

Red Flash take opening game of tournament

Saint Francis took the first game of the tournament 13-6 after it had erupted for five runs in the first inning off Taylor Carbone.

The Red Flash continued their dominant offensive performance as they combined for 13 runs and 16 hits.

Carbone pitched all seven innings for UMass, as all 13 runs she surrendered were earned.

Cozza added a two-run homerun in the bottom of the seventh to give the Minutewomen their fifth and six runs of the day.

Zander Manning can be reached at [email protected]

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