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 series with win over Saint Joseph’s on Sunday

Minutewomen didn’t earn a hit until the sixth inning
Dylan Nguyen / Daily Collegian

The Massachusetts softball team beat Saint Joseph’s Sunday afternoon, capping off a weekend in which it went 2-1 in its series. The Minutewomen (18-25, 11-7 Atlantic-10) were led by pitcher Jessie DiPasquale, who went seven innings, allowing no runs.

This game shows the recent trend that DiPasquale is on, where her ERA dropped from 5.17 to 3.58 since March 26. In Sunday’s game, DiPasquale had six strikeouts along with five hits and four walks. In the series overall, she allowed nine hits, nine walks and threw 13 strikeouts.

“[On Sunday] we saw the same thing that we saw on [Saturday],” head coach Danielle Henderson said. “[DiPasquale] didn’t give up a run this entire weekend, and I think that she did a really great job.”

With DiPasquale keeping the Hawks’ (18-20, 12-8 A-10) batters in check, their starting pitcher, Emily Siler did the same for the Minutewomen, keeping a no-hitter going into the sixth inning. UMass put pressure on St. Joe’s despite not having a hit, with errors and walks fueling its offense through the first five frames.

Siler’s performance through the first five innings was indicative of her performance the entire year, as she entered today’s contest with an ERA consistently hovering near 3.80. St. Joe’s is very strong in the pitching department, holding opponents to three runs or fewer in six of its last eight games.

The Hawks’ no-hitter was broken up by Payge Suggs, who led off the bottom of the sixth with an infield single. A walk and bunt later, Kendra Allen stepped up to the plate. She previously drew a walk and got out on a flyball to center field. On her third at-bat, Allen singled up the middle to score Suggs, the first run of the game. Allen has turned into one of UMass’ most consistent batters, recording four hits in eight at-bats this series and driving in two runs.

“I think my [first] at-bats I had good pieces, [they were] just going up in the air and straight to somebody,” Allen said. “My last at-bat I really wanted to focus on hitting it down and getting it in play, I think it was the repetition [of seeing Siler three times].”

A sacrifice fly and a wild pitch allowed the Minutewomen to add two more runs in the inning to go up 3-0. It was tight in the top of the seventh, however, with St. Joe’s loading the bases with two outs. DiPasquale got the last batter to hit a fly ball to right fielder Emily Whelan, who’s catch secured the win for UMass.

“[After Suggs’ single], the momentum just skyrocketed,” Allen said. “Once people start hitting, we pass the bat, that’s when our momentum comes and it’s hard to stop us.”

This series, the Minutewomen showed resiliency and an ability to continue to produce when it seems like nothing is going right for them. UMass also showed itself to be very cerebral and opportunistic in Sunday’s game, taking advantage of the errors from the Hawks and scoring an unearned run.

“They’re playing with a lot of confidence,” Henderson said of her players. “I think that’s showing on the field, there’s never a point where they don’t think they can get it done, so it doesn’t matter that they are being no-hit, they were able to step up when they needed to.”

UMass has won six of its last eight games, with a .500 record at home. The Minutewomen have an uncharacteristically long stretch between their next games, not playing again until April 30, where they travel to face Dayton in Ohio. First pitch on Saturday is scheduled for 12 p.m.

Johnny Depin can be reached at [email protected] and followed on Twitter @jdepin10.

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