Massachusetts Daily Collegian

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

UMass softball takes two of three in weekend series against St. Bonaventure

(Christina Moschetto/Daily Collegian)

Resilience was the name of the game Sunday for the Massachusetts softball team when it took the final game of the three game-series in Olean, New York, against St. Bonaventure 5-4 in nine innings.

“It was a definite heart-stopper,” UMass head coach Kristi Stefanoni said. “The rest of the season is going to be a grind and today we definitely showed our ability to push through and believe that we can win.”

After taking an early lead, Minutewomen (14-21, 8-5 Atlantic 10) pitcher Meg Colleran allowed two runs in the bottom of the seventh that tied the game at four, courtesy of a single by Bonnies (9-24, 4-9 A-10) first baseman Katie Sinclair that drove home Emily Belfield. Two batters later, Alissa Karjel drove home Sinclair tying the game at four.

UMass would claim its victory on a go-ahead single from Olivia Godin, driving in left fielder Kaycee Carbone in the top of the ninth.

“We had to play together,” freshman outfielder Erin Stacevicz said. “Everyone had to be in it, whether it was cheering from the bench or in the field, everyone had to be in the game somehow.”

Colleran went the distance and finished with 167 pitches, striking out six while walking five.

“I just took it one step at a time,” Colleran said. “I know that (the defense) had my back, so I had confidence.” 

UMass falls in game two

In the second game of the series, the Minutewomen fell to the Bonnies 5-2, breaking their three-game winning streak.

After trailing 3-2 in the bottom of the sixth, Stefanoni would replaced starter Taylor Carbone after she allowed her second run and showed signs of fatigue. Colleran was tabbed with the loss after allowing three unearned runs in her two innings of relief.

The two have been quite the pair in the circle this season, showing an ability to pass the ball off to each other at will whenever Stefanoni feels the time is right to make the switch. When asked about switching between the two for the remainder of the year, she responded adamantly that they would.

“I think we will,” Stefanoni said. “We even considered rotating them in to mess with (St. Bonaventure’s) lineup.”

“It’s nice to have Taylor,” Colleran said. “I can count on her to back me up since she’s on the field the whole time too and she knows what’s going on,”

UMass shows offensive skills in game one

UMass took game one of the series 6-1 on Saturday with ease, as its first two hitters, Stacevicz and shortstop Jena Cozza, finished with eight hits combined. The pair would finish the weekend with 15 hits between them.

Both Stacevicz and Cozza have been a formidable force at the top of the lineup this season. Cozza leads the team with a .364 batting average and trails only Stacevicz (41) in hits with 40 of her own.

“I have a lot of confidence (in them),” Stefanoni said. “They’re great rally starters at the top of the lineup. You could feel everyone on St. Bonaventure say ‘oh god – here’s the top of the lineup.’”

Stacevicz added: “It’s an honor to be up there. The seniors on our team push me (and everyone) to be better every game. It helps a lot to have them cheering me on from the bench.”

UMass travels to Storrs, Connecticut Tuesday at 4 p.m. to face the UConn Huskies.

Zander Manning can be reached at [email protected].

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