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 struggles offensively in loss to UConn

Minutewomen errors lead to two runs for opposition
Shilpa Sweth / Daily Collegian

After struggling to get runners on base, the Massachusetts softball team fell to UConn in a 5-0 loss. UMass (10-19, 2-6 Atlantic 10) struggled to make contact with the ball, totaling three hits throughout the game. UConn (22-10, 9-3 Big East), on the other hand, put runs on the board efficiently with five runners scoring off five hits and two walks.

UConn struck first in the bottom of the first inning with Aziah James scoring off a fielder’s choice, giving the Huskies a 1-0 lead. The offense for UConn didn’t stop there as a UMass error resulted in two unanswered runs. Grace Jenkins dominated for UConn when it came to putting runs on the board. On three at bats, Jenkins went 1-3 with three RBI. This trend continued with James, who went 1-3 with a triple and two RBIs. UMass starting pitcher Natalee Horton pitched six innings, allowing four earned runs, six hits and four strikeouts.

“Five hits just isn’t a lot of hits,” head coach Danielle Henderson said. “The triple was due to a passed ball by our left fielder and infield errors also caused problems.”

With Horton pitching to contact, errors by her teammates on the field prolonged innings where UMass could’ve escaped unscathed. This was a similar narrative to their last loss against St. Louis on April 2 where the Minutewomen gave up 12 runs and five errors. With errors putting the Minutewomen down early, it forced them to play catch-up right from the second inning.

When it came to offense, UMass failed to hit the ground running. They went four innings without getting a hit until Jules Shields singled with two outs in the top of the fourth. The first sign of hope came in the top of the sixth inning as UMass had runners on first and second, Chloe Whittier and Bella Pantoja respectively. However, back-to-back strikeouts left the runners  stranded. In total, UMass left six runners on base throughout the game and went 3-24 at the plate. Of those 24 at bats, 11 of them resulted in a strikeout.

UConn pitching dominated on the mound with pitchers Payton Kinney and Meghan O’Neil giving up three hits along with 11 strikeouts, three walks and no earned runs.

“We weren’t able to spot any pitches when hitting,” Henderson said. “They were swinging at pitches above their head and going down in the count early.”

Even with this loss against UConn, the Minutewomen look to move forward in their upcoming matchup.

“[Loyola Chicago] is new to our conference and we want to win every game, so we have to be ready,” Henderson said.

UMass’ next matchup will be a three-game series at home against Loyola Chicago with the first pitch taking place at 2 p.m. on Friday and the first pitch of the second game set for 4 p.m.

Jonathan Murgida can be reached at [email protected] and followed on Twitter @jonathanmurgida.

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