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 softball splits series with Rhode Island

Minutewomen continue to stay in close games
Dylan Nguyen

The University of Massachusetts softball team split the doubleheader against its conference rival Rhode Island Rams on Wednesday afternoon.

The Minutewomen (13-31, 9-11 Atlantic 10) went back and forth with the Rams (13-33, 8-12 A-10) throughout both games, as both results came down to the last few innings. Late-game execution was the name of the game as the pitching staff for both Rhode Island and UMass gave up costly plays in the late innings that put each game away.

The Minutewomen handled their business in game two of the doubleheader as they defeated the Rams, 5-2. UMass got on the board first, in the third inning with an RBI sacrifice fly from Sarah Keagy, bringing Chloe Whittier in to score. With two outs in the inning, Grace Cadden singled to right center field, with Bella Pantoja scoring the run. The Minutewomen added a run in the fourth inning with an RBI double to right center from Pantoja that scored Jordyn Graime, pushing their lead to 3-0.

Rhode Island had something to say in the bottom of the fourth inning as it scored two runs of its own, starting another late-game comeback attempt as Becca Zawistowski hit a two-RBI double to left field, bringing home both Emily Power and Mandi Hanewich, cutting the UMass lead to 3-2.

The Minutewomen slammed the door on the comeback in the sixth inning as they capitalized on a bases-loaded opportunity as Lydia Castro flew out to right field for a sacrifice fly, scoring Payge Suggs from third base. Rams pitcher Liz Lynchard helped out UMass as she threw a wild pitch, allowing Whittier to come home for the second run of the inning.

On the pitching side for the Minutewomen, Hannah Streicher earned her second win of the season, allowing four hits and two runs on 56 pitches. In a quality relief outing, Natalee Horton held down the fort for UMass, not allowing a run and striking out three batters, earning her second save of the season.

The Rams won the first game of the doubleheader in the final frame 3-2, as it scored all three of its runs in a successful comeback attempt. Julianne Bolton held a no-hitter throughout the first six innings for the Minutewomen, but gave up the 2-0 lead to Rhode Island, allowing three hits in the seventh inning.

Cassie Swenson started the Rams’ seventh-inning comeback with a single up the middle, followed by another single by Elena Gonzalez to put runners at first and second base. Both runners scored off a two-RBI double from Kylie Bulinski down the right-field line to tie the game 2-2. With two outs for Rhode Island, Sydney Yoder capped off the walk-off win with an RBI single to left center field, scoring the pinch runner Hanewich.

The Minutewomen had many opportunities to put more runs on the board in the third and fourth innings. In the third inning, after Cadden hit an RBI single that brought in Giana Wameling for the first run for UMass with one out, they left Cadden at second and Odyssey Torres at third after two groundouts from Abby Packard and Graime to end the inning. In the fourth inning, after getting a two-out base-loaded RBI walk from Torres that brought in Whittier to build their lead to 2-0, Cadden grounded out to second base in the next at-bat for the Minutewomen. Throughout the game, UMass left nine runners on base compared to Rhode Island’s two runners left on base.

The Minutewomen continue their road trip in Washington, D.C. this weekend as they will face conference foe George Washington in a three-game series, starting with a doubleheader on Sat., April 27. First pitch is set for 12 p.m.

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

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