Massachusetts softball battles back late to overtake Dartmouth 15-13

Lyon’s homerun walks-off a UMass victory

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Anish G. Roy

Anish Roy/Daily Collegian

By Bri Repetto, Collegian Correspondent

On Saturday afternoon, Massachusetts softball took on a tough opponent in Dartmouth College. Having lost its first of the two matchups that day 6-2, UMass (12-11, 8-6 Atlantic 10) headed into the second game with a need to win.

The first inning went by scoreless, but in the second Dartmouth (1-1) jumped to a 1-0 lead as a pitch bounced off catcher Amy Smith on a passed ball. Nonetheless, the Minutewomen looked to close the deficit in the bottom of the second with runners on second and third base. However, a one-out pop up followed by a strikeout ended their scoring chances.

Although the game started off rough for the Minutewomen, they showed resilience at bat.

“I talked to [the team], we’re pretty gutsy you know,” UMass head coach Kristi Stefanoni said. “I think when our backs are against the wall, I think we’re capable of doing much more than we think that we are and that game took an extreme amount of emotion, guts, tenacity, stamina, and I think that was the turning point for us.”

The top of the third is where the game took a turn. The Big Green took hold of every opportunity they faced, swinging again and again at first pitches from Minutewomen starter Jenna Bradley. With Dartmouth’s hits landing exactly where they needed to be, the Big Green easily scored seven runs on nine hits to balloon the game to 8-0. The inning finally closed out as Caroline Videtto caught a fly ball in center field.

The game started to pick up for the Minutewomen in the bottom of the fifth, as they were faced with the mercy rule that would call the game in Dartmouth’s favor since they already led by eight runs. A crucial moment for UMass, the Minutewomen delivered as Kristina Day earned a leadoff double that later turned into the first run on the boards for the Minutewomen, ensuring a sixth inning. Hannah Bunker’s two-out triple shortened the deficit to 8-3.

The sixth inning could easily be noted as the Minutewomen’s best inning of the day. The UMass bats caught fire as they managed to bring in nine runs clinching a 12-10 lead for the first time in the game. Dartmouth decided to change pitchers not once, but twice in this inning as UMass got on base by either a crafty hit or a walk to first.

Dartmouth managed to come back and regain a 13-12 lead in the top of the seventh. However, UMass played on. Bunker doubled to center in the bottom of the seventh to score Jules Shields and tie the game at 13. One batter later, Alyssa Lyon pinch hit for Videtto and slugged a walk-off home run, scoring Bunker and herself to secure the 15-13 UMass win.

After taking a loss in the first of the two matchups and almost facing another, it is safe to say that the Minutewomen felt the pressure in the second matchup to pull out a win. This pressure worked out in their favor as the Minutewomen successfully turned the tables on the Big Green and took home another win for UMass.

The Minutewomen will take on Rhode Island in a doubleheader on Wednesday April 28. First pitch is slated for 1 p.m.

Bri Repetto can be reached at [email protected]. Follow her on Twitter @RepettoBri.