UMass softball drops two of three to Fordham

By Zach Larkin

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(Collegian File Photo)

(Collegian File Photo)

The Massachusetts softball team opened Atlantic 10 play this weekend against Fordham, dropping two out of three games to the Rams in Bronx, New York.

UMass (7-18, 1-2 A-10) split a doubleheader on Saturday, winning the first game 3-2 before falling in the rubber match 4-0. The Minutewomen struggled to get anything going offensively in the series finale against Fordham (17-15, 2-1 A-10) pitcher Rachel Gillen, who took a perfect game into the sixth inning before Kaycee Carbone ended it with a triple.

After three scoreless innings, the Rams opened the scoring in the bottom of the fourth following an RBI single from Gillen. Fordham extended its lead to three the next inning on a two-run home run by Jessica Hughes, tacking on an insurance run in the sixth.

Taylor Carbone (1-6) was tagged with the loss for UMass, allowing four runs (three earned) on seven hits in six innings of work.

Despite the defeat, Minutewomen coach Kristi Stefanoni praised her senior.  

“(Taylor) was phenomenal,” Stefanoni said. “She did her job out there.”

In the first game of the doubleheader, UMass pulled out a 3-2 victory for its first conference win of the season.

Leading the way offensively was Taylor Carbone, going 2-for-3 with a solo homer and double, boosting her season average to .328.

Both Carbone sisters recorded an RBI in the victory, with Kaycee knocking in a run on a double in the fourth inning. The third run for the Minutewomen was tallied in the next inning after a fielding error allowed Erin Stacevicz to cross home plate.

On the mound was Meg Colleran, pitching a complete game while allowing just seven hits and two walks en route to her sixth win of the year.  

“Taking one from Fordham is always nice,” Stefanoni said. “We were all happy with this one.”

Minutewomen fall in opener

On Friday, UMass opened its conference portion of the schedule with a 5-3 defeat to the Rams.

Colleran was given the ball in the circle and struck out five batters in her six innings of work, giving up five earned runs on nine hits. Heading into the bottom of the fifth clinging to a 2-1 lead, Fordham scored three more courtesy of a two-run home run off the bat of Rachel Gillen. 

Down to their last out of the game, the Minutewomen mounted a comeback following singles from Stacevicz and Jena Cozza and a walk to Taylor Carbone to load the bases. After a wild pitch to score, Stacevicz cut the lead to 5-3 and Olivia Godin struck out swinging.

Godin went 2-for-4 at the plate, with Stefanoni recognizing the strengths the catcher brings to the team.

“Olivia is a leader,” she said. “She has a strong voice and gives direction.”

UMass will be back in action next weekend for its home opener against George Mason, playing two games on Saturday and one on Sunday at Sortino Field. The first pitch is scheduled for noon.

Zach Larkin can be reached at [email protected]