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

Softball Notebook: UMass sweeps series against St. Bonaventure

Minutewomen win with multi-run innings and good pitching
Kayla Wong
Daily Collegian (2023)

The Massachusetts softball team won its second straight series of the season, notching a clean sweep against St. Bonaventure this past weekend.

The Minutewomen (10-21, 6-3 Atlantic 10) poured a ton of runs on the Bonnies (2-20, 1-8 A-10), totaling 31 in the three games. Sarah Keagy led the way with six RBIs during the series, increasing her team lead to 17 RBIs on the season. Pitching was at a premium as well, as the starting pitching for UMass struck out 26 batters, not allowing the Bonnies to get comfortable offensively.

In the first game of the Friday doubleheader, four errors allowed the first two of five total St. Bonaventure runs scored. The Minutewomen remained unfazed as they snuck by with a victory, winning 9-5.

The third inning for the Minutewomen was the start of the offensive onslaught, as Chloe Whittier singled through the left side of the field, scoring Jordyn Graime from second base. Bella Pantoja followed suit by doubling to left center, bringing in Whittier from second and Payge Suggs from third, creating a 3-1 lead at the top of the third.

This carried over to the fourth inning as UMass scored five more runs, sparked by a Keagy homer to left field, who has a team-leading six home runs this season, scoring herself and Lydia Castro. The Bonnies attempted to stop the bleeding with a pitching change during the inning, but it was to no avail, as the Minutewomen responded with a pinch-hit two-RBI double to left center from Taylor Spexarth, with Grace Cadden and Abby Packard coming home. To cap off the inning, Whittier singled down the left field line, allowing Odyssey Torres to score, ballooning the Minutewomen lead to 8-1.

St. Bonaventure began to chip away at the lead the rest of the game, with two RBI singles from Kymora Wang and Elyse Graham and a sacrifice fly from Olivia Moon in the fifth inning. Those cut the Minutewomen lead to 8-5, but it was not enough, as that was all the Bonnies could muster.

Natalee Horton, who earned her third win of the season in 10 starts, struck out 10 batters while allowing nine hits on 150 pitches and three earned runs.

The next two games were a different story as the Minutewomen outscored the Bonnies with a combined score of 22-2.

Game two of the doubleheader was less thrilling as the Minutewomen defeated the Bonnies 12-0 with a six-run second inning that set the tone for the rest of the game. The first three runs for UMass, scored by Graime, Cadden and Whittier, came from three throwing errors in the second inning by the Bonnies. Keagy capped off the inning with some power by hitting her second home run of the doubleheader to left field, scoring Spexarth, and Pantoja as well.

The Bonnies continued to shoot themselves in the foot the rest of the game as they continued to load the bases for UMass, giving the Minutewomen multiple opportunities to grow the lead which they capitalized on. The Minutewomen demonstrated their ability to hit for power and find holes within the St. Bonaventure defense, creating a lot of movement around the bases, ultimately leading to more runs being scored.

Julianne Bolton put on a pitching clinic, throwing a scoreless, one-hit complete game while striking out nine batters on 64 pitches, earning her first of two wins during the weekend series.

Saturday’s game was a similar story as the Minutewomen had two multi-run innings, leading them to a 10-2 victory. The Bonnies pulled ahead in the second inning, 2-1, with an RBI double from Graham that brought in Eleanor Park and a sacrifice fly by Reanna Perkins, bringing in Graham.

The Minutewomen responded by tacking on three runs in the third inning, starting with Whittier showing off her speed with a game-tying RBI triple, scoring Suggs. Pantoja then hit the go-ahead RBI single up the middle, scoring Whittier from third base. To wrap up the inning, Castro doubled to right center, grabbing her second RBI of the game, with Pantoja scoring the run, giving the Minutewomen a 4-2 lead heading into the bottom of the third.

The fourth inning broke the game open for UMass and ruined any comeback chance for the Bonnies, scoring six runs. The Minutewomen got their runs through hitting singles and moving the line along the bases with Cadden, Suggs, Whittier, Packard and Riley Kairer each earning RBIs, making the Bonnies uncomfortable on defense.

Bolton pitched her second complete game of the series, throwing seven strikeouts while allowing only three hits on 94 pitches. The junior earned her team-high sixth win of the season, continuing on a solid season.

The Minutewomen look to extend their three-game winning streak as they will stay in New York for a non-conference matchup against Binghamton on Wednesday, April 3. First pitch is set for 4 p.m.

Benito Marinero-Rodriguez can be reached at [email protected] and followed on Twitter @bmrodriguez12.

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