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 evades sweep against Loyola Chicago

Minutewomen turn fortunes around on Saturday
Shilpa Sweth / Daily Collegian

The Massachusetts softball team evaded a sweep in its weekend series against Loyola Chicago, winning the final game on Saturday afternoon after falling to 0-2 in the series on Friday. The Minutewomen (11-21, 3-8 Atlantic 10) bounced back with an offensive clinic on Saturday afternoon, totalling 10 hits in their 7-4 win.

After the Ramblers (15-18, 9-4 A-10) tied the game at three in the top of the fourth, UMass quickly responded with three runs of its own in the bottom half of the inning. Abby Lamson singled to right field for her third RBI of the game, before later scoring along with Jules Shields off an Abby Packard double that hugged the foul line.

Julianne Bolton went to work on the mound on Saturday, throwing a complete game allowing four runs, nine hits and two walks while striking out five. Bolton’s season ERA sits at 4.79, down from 5.08 when the series kicked off.

“[Bolton] is a totally different pitcher,” head coach Danielle Henderson said. “She’s started going at batters instead of pitching cautiously.”

UMass added an insurance run in the bottom of the sixth inning when Jules Shields doubled home Bella Pantoja, who reached base on an error. Bolton closed out the win for the Minutewomen in the top of the seventh, working around a leadoff walk to keep the Ramblers at bay and secure the victory.

Friday’s second game saw the Minutewomen take an early advantage, but they eventually collapsed in the latter innings, allowing at least one run in each of the last four innings. The seventh inning was the precipice of the collapse, with UMass holding onto a slim 5-3 lead that was being clawed at by the Ramblers from the fifth inning onwards.

After Natalee Horton struck out the first batter of the inning, a triple followed by a walk and a stolen base gave Loyola Chicago two runners in scoring position. A groundout scored the runner on third, and being one out away from ending the game, the Ramblers singled through the right side to send the game to extras.

Horton and the Minutewomen allowed three runs in the top of the eighth and lost 8-7. Horton’s final line was eight innings pitched, 13 hits allowed, eight earned runs, three walks and three strikeouts. Unlike Loyola Chicago, UMass was the beneficiary of sloppy defense from the opposition. The Ramblers committed four errors, leading to just one of the Minutewomen’s seven runs being earned. Both starters went the distance, but only combined for four strikeouts.

Four members of UMass had multi-hit games, with eight of the nine Miuntewomen starters getting a base hit in Friday’s second game.

Friday’s first game didn’t have the same back and forth energy that the second game of the day did, with UMass falling behind early and never really finding its footing against new to the A-10 Loyola Chicago. A three-spot in the first inning was all the Ramblers needed for the rest of the game as the Minutewomen lost 7-2.

After allowing three runs in the first, starting pitcher Jessie DiPasquale got into somewhat of a rhythm, allowing three earned runs for the remainder of her start. Her final line was 5.1 innings pitched, 12 hits, six earned runs, one strikeout and zero walks.

Bolton came in relief of DiPasquale and pitched the final 1.1 innings, allowing zero hits and zero walks while striking out none. This performance for Bolton came after an outing against Saint Louis where she went two innings and allowed three earned runs.

Chloe Whittier was the star of game one for UMass, going 3-for-4 with an RBI. Whittier accounted for half of the Minutewomen’s hits as they finished with six for the game. The other RBI came from the bat of Pantoja, when she hit into a double play in the bottom of the fifth, scoring Giana Wameling who was on third.

The Minutewomen are next in action on Wednesday, April 12, taking on Marist in a midweek double header. First pitch for game one is scheduled for 2 p.m. while first pitch of game two is tentatively scheduled for 4 p.m. from Sortino Field.

Johnny Depin can be reached at [email protected] and followed on Twitter @Jdepin101.

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