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 sweeps series with George Washington

Minutewomen bats explode for 30 runs over the weekend
Devin Lippman

The Massachusetts softball team swept its weekend series against George Washington.

The Minutewomen (16-31, 12-11 Atlantic 10) rode an offensive explosion to their series win over the Revolutionaries (24-25, 9-14 A-10), tallying a total of 30 runs across the three games. Seniors Chloe Whittier and Bella Pantoja led the way for UMass, with Whittier tallying four hits, five runs and four RBI and Pantoja adding six hits, four runs and five RBI.

UMass won the second game of Saturday’s doubleheader in dramatic fashion, coming out on top 13-7 in a back-and-forth affair, in which it tallied a season-high 16 hits. The Minutewomen opened the scoring with a four-run first inning, punctuated by Jordyn Graime’s two-run double that scored their third and fourth run.

After tacking on another run in the second via a wild pitch from George Washington’s Cece Smith, the Revolutionaries responded with seven unanswered runs, starting  with Ashley Corpuz’s sixth home run of the season in the bottom of the fourth. They added three more runs in the fifth, two of which came from Allison Heffley’s two-run home run. Reese Torres’ two-run single up the middle gave George Washington its first lead of the game in the bottom of the sixth, while Cadence Gilliland’s ground out gave the Revolutionaries a 7-5 lead going into UMass’ last at-bats.

Whittier cut the lead to one with a sacrifice fly that scored  Grace Cadden, and after Pantoja’s RBI double, the game was tied at seven. In the next at-bat, Lydia Castro drove in Pantoja and Payge Suggs with a double, and the Minutewomen’s bats stayed hot with Sarah Keagy’s RBI double and Abby Packard’s three-RBI double. By the time the dust settled, UMass built itself a 13-7 lead that was too much for George Washington to overcome. Natalee Horton earned the win, her fifth of the season.

 The Minutewomen gutted out a 6-5 win, capping off their sweep on Sunday, riding Horton’s strong four innings on the mound where she struck out four and allowed one earned run. UMass again struck first with Keagy notching an RBI double that drove in Pantoja in the top of the first, but Corpuz tied the game in the bottom of the inning with her seventh home run of the season and her second of the series.

Cadden led off the second for UMass with a solo home run to center, giving it a 2-1 lead. George Washington’s Alena Ramirez knotted the game at two with a solo home run in the bottom of the third, and Heffley continued her scorching weekend with a two-run single that gave it a 4-2 lead.

That score held until Keagy smacked a two-run double, tying the game in the fifth. An inning later, Pantoja drove in her fifth run of the series, giving the Minutewomen the lead. After Castro’s sacrifice fly tacked on another run, UMass went into the bottom of the sixth with a 6-4 lead.

Heffley once again came through for the Revolutionaries with an RBI single, cutting the deficit to one, but that was all George Washington could manage for the rest of the game as Horton again picked up the win for the Minutewomen.

UMass opened the weekend with a dominant 11-5 win in the first game of its Saturday doubleheader. The Minutewomen scored early and often, starting with Pantoja’s RBI triple in the first inning.  After Castro’s sacrifice fly made it 2-0, UMass grew its lead to six in the second. With runners on first and third, the Minutewomen pulled off a double steal with Packard swiping second and Cadden stealing home. Later in the inning, Whittier smashed her third home run of the season, a three-run shot that scored Suggs and Packard.

Torres got the Revolutionaries on the board in the bottom of the second with a solo home run, her fourth of the season, but UMass added two more runs from a Pantoja two-run double in the fourth making it an 8-1 lead.  Despite a George Washington rally in the sixth that cut the lead to three, UMass held on, eventually winning 11-5. Julianne Bolton pitched a complete game, her 12th of the season, and her four strikeouts raised her team-leading total to 109 on the season.

The Minutewomen take their four-game winning streak home to Sortino Field against Merrimack on Wednesday, May 1. First pitch is scheduled for 3 p.m. in Amherst.

James Rust can be reached at [email protected] and followed on Twitter/X @James__Rust.

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