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 drops both games of a doubleheader to URI

The Rams’ batting helped them score 15 runs over two games
Kayla Wong/Daily Collegian (2023)

Struggling offensively, the Massachusetts softball team lost both games of a doubleheader against Rhode Island at Sortino Field Wednesday afternoon.

Senior pitcher Liz Lynchard dominated the first game for URI. The lefty carried a perfect gamer into the seventh inning, striking out six batters in the process while not allowing a single walk. Whittier broke up the no-hitter in the final inning with a single into left field.

The Rams controlled the game on both sides of the ball, jumping out to an early 2-0 lead in the 1st. In the top of the fourth, Skyler Rapuano crushed Jenna Bradley’s first pitch of the inning into straight away center field for a solo home run, making it 3-0. Bradley finished four innings, allowing three runs with a strikeout.

Jessie DiPasquale relieved Bradley in the fifth inning and pitched the rest of the game. She struck out three batters but allowed three runs on five hits.

Rhode Island put the game away with a three-run sixth inning that came from a collection of singles, including one from Rapuano. She finished the game 3-3 with three RBI, and the Rams eventually won 6-0.

In the second game, it was Julianne Bolton starting in the circle for the Minutewomen (14-29, 5-14 Atlantic 10). She entered the game with a 4.57 ERA and kept the Rhode Island bats at bay for the first three innings, giving up one hit.

In the bottom of the 3rd, Emily Whelan led off with a line drive base hit into left field, sparking a massive inning for UMass. Giana Wameling then executed a bunt and run with Whelan to perfection, reaching first safely. After a Chloe Whittier sac fly that advanced both runners, Bella Pantoja pulled back what looked to be a bunt and slapped a base hit off the URI pitchers’ glove for an RBI.

On the next pitch, cleanup hitter Jules Shields lasered a base hit right back up the middle, scoring another run to give UMass a 2-0 lead. Grace Cadden batted in two runs on a single of her own to stretch the UMass lead to 4-0. The Minutewomen tallied seven hits total in the inning but struggled offensively the rest of the game.

“We were just not competing as well, so we were just going up there and having our at-bats,” Minutewomen coach Danielle Henderson said. “I think that we could have battled and gritted it out a little bit more.”

For the Rams (18-27-1, 8-11 A-10), it was a slow start with Bolton in the circle, but they eventually got the bats going and pushed their first run across in the top of the fourth. The designated player, Rachel Zingerman led off with a walk and stole second the next at-bat. The throw by Olivia Packard beat her to the bag, but the ball came out of Pantoja’s glove on the tag. An error allowed Zingerman to advance to third, where she scored on a first and third rundown play where UMass chose to get the out between first and second, allowing the run to score.

When it came to the plate again in the top of the fifth, URI rallied for a few more runs. It started with a leadoff double into left center field, which was followed by a single into left center that scored the runner, cutting the Minutewomen lead to two. After a wild pitch and a walk, Zingerman struck again with a base-clearing double to tie the game at four.

Freshman Natalee Horton came in for relief to begin the top of the 6th, where the Rhode Island rally continued. After issuing a leadoff walk, that runner took off from first, but the throw by Packard once again beat her to the base and the runner was called out. However, the umpires convened about the call for longer than usual, before overturning it, calling the runner safe.

“I thought it was ridiculous, and they shouldn’t have overturned it because the only one that had the view has to make the call,” Henderson said. “I thought we got her, and you got to go with the call, and I didn’t think anyone had a view that could tell us otherwise.”

The call left the runner in scoring position, who scored shortly after on a base hit up the middle, giving the Rams their first lead of the game. Rhode Island never looked back, scoring another four runs on a string of singles that left the Minutewomen in a deficit they couldn’t come back from.

URI tallied nine runs on nine hits in the contest, while UMass scored four on 12 hits. Abby Lamson had an impressive game at the plate, going 3-4. Shields and Pantoja joined her with a couple of hits each. The Minutewomen left 10 runners on base in the game compared to URI’s six. UMass lost the second game 9-4.

These two games mark the seventh straight loss for the Minutewomen, which will see George Washington at home in its next matchup on April 28. It is a doubleheader with the first pitch for the first game scheduled for 12 p.m., and the second game scheduled to start at 2 p.m.

Aidan Deschaine can be reached at [email protected].

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