Massachusetts Daily Collegian

UMass softball splits midweek doubleheader with Fairleigh Dickinson

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In the bottom of the seventh inning in the first of two games the Massachusetts softball team and Farleigh Dickinson played Wednesday afternoon, the Minutewomen scored two runs in their rally and came up short.

With the count 2-2 and with two outs in the final inning, sophomore Kaitlyn Stavinoha reached on an infield single to shortstop. Freshman Madison Gimpl and senior Tara Klee both scored, but Stavinoha was picked off of first base after taking a wide turn and effectively ended the game abruptly.

“I thought she was safe quite honestly,” UMass coach Kristi Stefanoni said. “To end the game on a play like that … Not a good way to end a game for sure.”

Minutewomen fall to Knights in Briedenbach’s home debut

In game one, freshman Quinn Briedenbach made her first start at Sortino Field for the Minutewomen (13-16, 2-1 A-10). Briedenbach held her own in the pitching circle, going 5.2 innings while allowing four runs—three earned—on seven hits with two strikeouts and one walk.

For the most part, Stefanoni was pleased with the performance by Briedenbach, but said that she still needs to improve.

“I think she had her moments, she was in and out,” Stefanoni said. “It’s a work in progress. She’s young and she’s been working really hard in practice. Chelsea’s been working hard with her in the bullpen. We knew today was going to be a day to play her to get her some innings and hopefully give her some game experience and confidence.”

FDU (2-17, 0-2 Northeast Conference) got started in the first inning and never looked back. On Briedenbach’s second pitch, Reanna Cervantes gave the Knights a 1-0 lead on a solo home run before Briedenbach could even settle in.

After a Kassidy Neptune double to open the second inning, Serena Meehan’s single drove her home to extend the Knights lead to 2-0.

In the top of the sixth, FDU took advantage of an error by Stacevicz and its fourth and final run on Neptune’s double.

The Minutewomen got one run back in the bottom of the fourth inning courtesy of an run-scoring double by freshman Nicole Imhof, scoring sophomore Kaycee Carbone to cut the FDU lead in half, 2-1.

UMass exacts revenge in game two

Leading 2-0 in the fourth inning and with two runners on base, Stacevicz laid down a bunt that Hayes threw over the head of Irene Hererra and into the right field corner, helping Stacevicz advance to third while scoring Kate Dennis and Candace Denis to double the Minutewomen lead.

Stacevicz scored on the ensuing play when Stavinoha drove her in to cap a three-run inning. This was one of five times on the day that Stacevicz reached base, a team-high.

In the top of the sixth, FDU got on the board when Natham drove in Villalobos on a single down the left field line to make it 5-1, but that’s how it would stay.

UMass got started in the first inning when Melissa Garcia drove in Stacevicz to make it 1-0. The Minutewomen struck again in the second inning when Denis drove in Dennis on a sacrifice fly to left field.

Despite splitting the doubleheader, Stefanoni was not happy with the way the Minutewomen played Wednesday.

“[We were] not very good at all,” she said. “The way that we play softball, the first game at least is not the way we’re going to win A-10 championships … UMass softball should not be losing to a team like Fairleigh Dickinson.”

UMass plays next on the road in a three-game series against A-10 foe St. Louis, with a doubleheader Saturday and the series finale on Sunday at noon.

Zander Manning can be reached at [email protected] and followed on Twitter @ ZMSportsReport.

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