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 loses to BU in low-scoring affair

Minutewomen bats go quiet in 3-1 loss
Shilpa Sweth / Daily Collegian

Struggling to get the bats going, the Massachusetts softball team fell 3-1 to Boston University. For the Terriers (39-7, 9-0 Patriot League), it was their 19th straight win, a streak dating back to March.

Freshman Kasey Ricard dominated in the circle for BU and had a no-hitter alive through five and two thirds’ innings. She pitched a complete game and gave up one run on just two hits, while tallying 11 strikeouts and walking two. Ricard now posts a 1.58 ERA on the season, which is shockingly higher than the team as a collective. BU entered today’s game with a team ERA of 1.55, the seventh best in the country.

“You just want to be the first one to get the hit. We knew that Ricard is a good pitcher, but we were just trying to be selective, lay off her rise ball, and then just attack the balls in the zone,” head coach Danielle Henderson said.

The lone run for the Minutewomen (14-24, 5-9 Atlantic 10) came in the bottom of the sixth, when Bella Pantoja broke Ricard’s no-hitter with a two-out slap hit single up the middle. Jules Shields followed up with an RBI double into right-center field to bring in Pantoja, but she was thrown out trying to turn it into a triple.

Henderson decided to throw three different pitchers at the Terrier lineup, a strategy that seemed to work well. Freshman Natalee Horton got the start and gave two innings of work until Julianne Bolton came in for relief, pitching three innings. Jenna Bradley closed it out for the last two innings.

“They’re a good team, and we thought we could keep their batters off balance by switching up our pitchers, trying to go one time through and then switch them up with different looks,” Henderson said.

All three pitchers fearlessly attacked the strike zone all afternoon. Horton allowed two runs on four hits, while walking one batter. Bolton gave up one run on three hits, also only walking one. Bradley continued the theme, getting six outs in six batters to close the game.

BU struck first in the top of the third, starting with back-to-back base hits from Kayla Roncin and Lauren Keleher. A sac fly advanced the runners and another single from Emily Gant brought in the Terriers’ first run, making the score 1-0. The second run scored on a fielder’s choice when a ground ball was hit to Abby Packard, who got the out at first.

Gant tallied her second RBI of the afternoon in the top of the fifth, when she hammered a pitch into right center field for a triple, scoring Caitlin Coker. This gave the Terriers a 3-0 lead going into the final innings, enough to hold on for yet another win.

UMass’ next matchup will be a three-game series on the road at Fordham. It will be a doubleheader on Saturday with the first pitch set for 12 p.m. and the second game set for 2 p.m. Game three of the series is set for Sunday with first pitch at 12 p.m.

Aidan Deschaine can be reached at [email protected] and followed on Twitter @Aidan14468062.

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