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 splits series with St. Louis

Minutewomen steal home to win the second game
Maya Geer/ Daily Collegian (2022)

The Massachusetts softball team turned its luck around in the second game of its double header after losing to St. Louis. It finished its final game of the series 4-3, stealing home in the bottom of the seventh inning to grab the win.

Giana Wameling grabbed a base hit and steal second after a wild pitch with no outs. Chloe Whittier made it to first on a fielder’s choice and Wameling advanced narrowly to third. Sarah Keagy grounded out to third, but Whittier made it to second with one out. Jules Shields stepped up to bat, but a wild pitch allowed Wameling to steal home, winning the game for the Minutewomen.

Jessie DiPasquale proved to be the spark start to finish in the Minutewomen’s (10-18, 2-6 Atlantic 10) second matchup of the day against the Billikens (14-18, 6-2 A10). She finished with five strikeouts, two of which were the first two batters she faced on Sunday. After losing the previous game 12-1, DiPasquale came out ready to win the next.

Whitter hit 2-for-2 in game one, with her momentum carrying over into the second game, finishing with two hits again. She ended the day with four hits and two RBIs.

“I think we knew that they were going to not really pitch to [Whittier] later on because she’s been hitting well for us,” head coach Danielle Henderson said. “I thought she was really having a good day today. Her last two at-bats they did not give her anything that she could hit.”

After long innings in the first game, defense picked up quickly in the second. The first two innings of the second game were quick, three batters, three outs. UMass had only one error total in game two, a stark difference to the previous game’s five errors.

“We played defense the second game. That was probably our worst defensive outing that we’ve had,” Henderson said of the team’s performance in the first game. “But we turned it around.”

The first matchup with the Billikens was slow for the Minutewomen. St. Louis finished the first game with 12 hits to UMass’ four, as the majority of the scoring from the Billikens came in the third inning, with five runs coming in.

A couple of base hits along with some errors gave the Billikens a 2-0 lead early in the first game. This was the theme of the game for the Minutewomen, with errors plaguing the team.

St. Louis’ graduate pitcher Chloe Wendling dominated all five innings for the Billikens. She entered the game with a 3.51 ERA and struck out six while walking three. Wendling proved successful for the Billikens in the second game as well after replacing Taylor Hochman, the starter.

“We faced [Wendling] last year,” Henderson said. “We knew what she threw. She kept us off balance, we just didn’t adjust to what she was throwing.”

Horton started the first game in the circle for UMass and gave three innings of work, allowing eight hits for nine runs, although only three of them were earned.

Saint Louis scored in every inning but one. A leadoff walk, base hit and error gave the Billikens loaded bases with one out. St. Louis’ Jocelyn Abbott came through with an RBI single to left field, followed by a Chloe Rhine base hit that scored another two runs. Another base hit followed, along with a wild pitch before Horton escaped the inning.

The lone run for UMass came in the bottom of the fourth, set up by a Whittier base hit and a Keagy walk. With runners on first and second, Shields and Bella Pantoja grounded into back-to-back fielder’s choices, giving Pantoja the RBI.

Julianne Bolton came in relief for Horton after the third inning, dealing a scoreless top of the fourth. In the fifth, the Billikens put together a pair of base hits with two outs. Freshman Abby Mallo came up with runners on second and third and hit a three run shot off the scoreboard in left field, putting UMass in a 12-1 deficit.

UMass’ senior right fielder Emily Whelan hit a double into left center field in the bottom of the fifth, but it was not enough for the Minutewomen to avoid the five-inning mercy rule.

UMass is next in action on Wednesday, April 5 against Connecticut on the road. First pitch is scheduled for 6 p.m.

Rachel Toth can be reached at [email protected] and followed on Twitter @RachelToth46.

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

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