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

Softball Notebook: UMass snaps losing streak in last game of series against Dayton

Natalee Horton steals the show for Minutewomen
Shilpa Sweth / Daily Collegian

During a weekend that marked the continuation of conference play, the Massachusetts softball team picked up its first conference victory of the year against Dayton. After losing the first two games on Saturday, the Minutewomen (8-17, 1-5 Atlantic 10) bounced back with a win during Sunday’s matinee.

In the final game of the weekend, UMass was finally able to get over the hump, defeating the Flyers (15-11, 2-1 A-10) 1-0. The lone run of the game came via a second inning double by Emily Whelan, who shelled the ball to right field scoring Bella Pantoja. That one run was all UMass needed, with Natalee Horton taking care of the rest for the Minutewomen.

Horton was the star of this contest, as the freshman continued her superb pitching this weekend to the tune of seven scoreless innings, giving up three hits and one walk, all while fanning a whopping 12 hitters, earning UMass its second shutout win of the season.

Horton has been nothing short of remarkable this season, as she improved her ERA to a measly 4.16, including two complete game shutouts. Horton benefited from great defense behind her, as the Minutewomen were able to largely keep the errors in check, committing just one.

The Minutewomen’s late weekend success wasn’t present in Saturday’s second game, losing by a score of 11-3 in a five-inning game. The Flyers put up a five spot in the first frame on UMass starting pitcher Julianne Bolton, which included three home runs.

Bolton couldn’t get back on track after the first inning, as the sophomore hurler gave up six more earned runs after the first, with her only scoreless inning pitched being the third. She finished with four and two-thirds of an inning pitched, allowing 14 hits and 11 runs while striking out three batters.

On the offensive side of the ball, Abby Packard continued her strong hitting performance by smacking a two-run home run to left field, her first of the season. Abby Lamson also provided some scoring for UMass, lacing an RBI single to left center field.

In Saturday’s first contest, the Flyers defeated the Minutewomen by a score of 9-3. UMass jumped out to an early 1-0 lead in the top of the second on a double to right center field by Packard. Dayton swiftly responded with eight runs in the next two innings.

Jessie DiPasquale earned the starting nod for the Minutewomen, pitching a line of two and a third innings, giving up seven hits, one walk, one strikeout and four earned runs. Horton had a solid relief outing, tossing three and two-thirds innings, including no walks and one strikeout while giving up four hits. Horton allowed three runs, only one of which was earned.

Errors continued to be a theme for the Minutewomen, as the Flyers scored four out of nine runs on UMass’ misplays. Errors were not the only differentiating factor in the tilt, as the Minutewomen struck out only two Flyer batters while striking out 10 times themselves.

UMass will look to build on its Sunday afternoon win when it takes on Boston College on Wednesday night. First pitch is scheduled for 6 p.m.

Eli Weisberger can be reached at [email protected] and followed on Twitter @EAlcheck.

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