UMass softball sweeps George Mason in doubleheader

By Zander Manning

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(Robert Rigo/Daily Collegian)

It was a cold, windy day in Amherst, but a little rain and the cold never bothered anyone on the Massachusetts softball team as it swept a doubleheader against George Mason in its first two home games of the season at Sortino Field.

The games were originally slated to start at 12:00 p.m. and 2:00p.m., but were delayed because of heavy rain before the start of the first game, pushing each start time back by two hours.

UMass coach Kristi Stefanoni said the weather didn’t affect the Minutewomen much at all.

“We talked about the weather beforehand and I just told them they had to get used to it,” Stefanoni said.

Meg Colleran started both games for UMass (9-18, 3-2 A-10) in the circle, pitching a complete game in the second allowing one run (unearned) on five hits as the Minutewomen came away with a 4-1 win.

Neither team got started until the fourth inning when Taylor Carbone hit a long home run over the left field wall, ricocheting off the top of the scoreboard to give UMass a 1-0 lead.

“She’s been great,” Stefanoni said. “She gives the team confidence and you can feel it.”

After a walk to Tara Klee, a single for Kaycee Carbone and a sacrifice from Lindsey Zenk, Ashton Wince hit a long sacrifice fly to get the run in to make it a 2-0 game.

The Patriots (14-13, 2-3 A-10) would threaten in the top of the fifth, getting a runner in scoring position, but Colleran would work around the jam and ended up keeping the Patriots off the scoreboard for her 10th straight scoreless inning of the day.

The Minutewomen struck again in the fifth when Carbone hit a ball to left field that would clank off the glove of Julia Czarnecki scoring the run on an error. One batter and a wild pitch later, UMass led 4-0.

Immediately after the run scored the rain came pouring down, but after a 53-minute rain delay, the teams returned to the field.

Although the Minutewomen would hold on for the sweep, Colleran was denied the shutout as George Mason scored its lone run of the day in the top of the 7th inning of the game.

“I like shutouts, but to me winning is more important,” Colleran said. “The defense was on point, they did their job and they’re one of the reasons we won.”

UMass rolls over George Mason in game one

After manufacturing runs and some timely hitting by the Minutewomen, they would score seven runs in the fourth inning, including a grand slam from Taylor Carbone, giving UMass an 8-0 lead it would not surrender.

The Minutewomen threatened right off the bat in the first inning as they got back-to-back singles from senior Taylor Carbone and redshirt sophomore Jena Cozza. Each would advance on a wild pitch, but George Mason starting pitcher Sarah Kleinfelter worked out the jam.

In the second inning, the Minutewomen struck first on a double by Ashton Wince, scoring Kaycee Carbone from first. Tara Klee would follow with another double, but Wince would be thrown out at home.

“I really felt like I was seeing the ball well,” Carbone said. “I almost thought about doing less and just seeing the ball.”

The Patriots went down one, two, three in the fifth inning and the game was over due to Mercy Rule.

UMass will finish up its series against George Mason tomorrow at 12 p.m.

Zander Manning can be reached at [email protected]