Massachusetts Daily Collegian

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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

Breidenbach shines as UMass defeats Fordham 4-1

Breidenbach wins two on the weekend as UMass takes series

Quinn Breidenbach was brilliant all weekend earning two victories as the Massachusetts softball team took the series over Fordham. Breidenbach has now won her last three decisions and is proving to be a reliable member of the UMass pitching staff.

Pitching in her second straight game, Breidenbach dominated on Saturday leading the Minutewomen to a 4-1 victory over Fordham who sits atop the A10 conference standings along with UMass.

“I am really super, super proud of Quinn,” said coach Kristi Stefanoni. “She did absolutely phenomenal. To be able to throw back-to-back games like that, just the pitches she throws are really taxing on her forearm. She was a trooper, today.”

After throwing all seven innings in Saturday’s 11-6 victory, Breidenbach was even better on Sunday. She only allowed six hits and one run, again going the distance.

The junior had to battle with a strong hitting Rams’ lineup, who were about to consistently work full counts fouling off tough pitches in the process. But, Breidenbach won nearly every single battle.

“All you can do is just not back down,” she said. “Don’t give them anything free. If we’re going to give it to them, we’ve got to give it to them hard. I just kept coming through the zone and trusting my spin. If it was going to be over the plate, my spin would help me out.”

Breidenbach had a seamless first three innings only allowing one baserunner, a first inning double from Jordy Storm who was thrown out as she tried to steal third.

She was forced to throw a lot of pitches in the early part of the game, but she did not face real adversity until the fourth. The inning started with Storm depositing a pitch over the right field wall to put Fordham on the scoreboard. The next batter reached before Breidenbach got a fly ball out via a diving catch from Erin Stacevicz.

She forced the next batter to bounce into an inning ending double play.

In the following inning, Fordham’s bats, once again, put the Minutewomen in a jam. And once again, Breidenbach had the answers.

The inning started with a groundout to Hannah Bunker. Then, three of the next four batters reached base to load them up. With two outs, Fordham had their best opportunity of the game. Having already hit a homerun and double, Jordy Storm stepped back into the batter’s box with a chance to do some damage.

Breidenbach would not let that happen.

“I played club ball with her. I was like ‘man we can’t let her get three for three,’” the pitcher said. “But I think it was just a matter of really focusing on inches. So, I just really needed to jam her as hard as I could and be really precise. That’s the moment when your extra focus really needs to come in.”

Breidenbach got her former teammate to pop up weakly to right field to end the rally. It was the last time any Fordham baserunner made it passed second.

In the next inning, Fordham was set down in order and in the final inning, they had runners on first and second with two outs but could not get a hit as UMass took the game and took the series over the Rams.

Breidenbach’s success, according to both the pitcher and her coach, came down to pitch location. “Hitting her spots,” Stefanoni said, “absolutely hitting her spots. Each player has probably seen her eight or nine times, so she needed to hit her spots in order to be successful and the defense played really great behind her.”

She only struck out two and walked one, so nearly every Fordham batter put the ball in play. The UMass defense was ready behind their workhorse.

“Having confidence in your pitcher as a defense is really good and having confidence in your defense as a pitcher is really great,” she said. “I thought we were high-energy and that really fed to my confidence. We just have to keep working hard and get ahead!”

Breidenbach and the rest of the Minutewomen will look to continue building confidence as they head into Tuesday’s game against Providence.

Tim Sorota can be reached at [email protected] and followed on twitter @timsorota.

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    thomas massettiApr 29, 2019 at 7:27 pm

    Great job by Quinn. Can anyone find out the status of Kiara Olivee?