UMass softball splits doubleheader with URI

Rams get their first conference win of the season

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Kago Motsoma/Daily Collegian

By Myles Carter, Collegian Contributor

Starting Wednesday’s doubleheader, the Massachusetts women’s softball team came out swinging, scoring six runs off five hits just in the first inning.

They slowed down but wouldn’t stop there, scoring another run off of two hits in the second inning and then bringing back that same energy, picking things up in the fourth, scoring another five runs off three hits.

Nine of the 13 players either batted in or scored a run, leaving only the two pinch hitters, Jordyn Graime and Taylor Spexarth, right fielder Payge Suggs, and pitcher Jesse DiPasquale out of the fun.

“I felt like we did really well,” UMass coach Kristi Stefanoni said of her team’s Game 1 performance. “Jesse [DiPasquale] came out and she threw a really good game. I thought she was throwing really hard, she was hitting her spots, and she was getting a lot of swings and misses. Our defense didn’t really have to do too much, [Rhode Island] didn’t really put the ball in play which was good for us.

“But at the plate, we just came out attacking. For Bella to lead the game off with a leadoff double and for us to just pretty much bat around that entire [first] inning, really showed me how locked in we were so I felt really good about our performance and how we did in Game 1.”

After making it look easy in Game 1, winning 12-0 in five innings behind Hannah Bunker’s four RBI, two hits and one run, enabling the mercy rule, it was easy to think that Game 2 would be much of the same and that the Minutewomen (13-12, 9-7 Atlantic 10) were heavily favored.

That was until Rhode Island (4-19, 1-9 A-10) had something to say about it.

In Game 2, URI turned the table on UMass and gave them a taste of their own medicine, scoring five runs off four hits early in the second inning. This would set the tone for the rest of the game, as the Rams scored another run on three hits in the third inning, increasing their lead to 6-0.

The only run Rhode Island gave up came in the seventh inning.

The Rams won the game, 6-1, after the performances of Ari Castillo with three hits and two RBI as well as Ainsley Yoshizumi’s one run, two hits and two RBI.

“They made some really nice plays in this game,” Stefanoni said of the Rams after Game 2. “I think it was a mix of us possibly doing things better at the start and then it just also wasn’t there for us in game two.”

The win in Game 2 gave URI its first conference win of the season, leaving it at eighth place and UMass at fifth in the division.

The Minutewomen have a day off before traveling to the Bronx, New York, to play Fordham on Friday at 3 p.m. in a three-day, four-game series.

Myles Carter can be reached at [email protected].