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 wins one of three in series against Dayton

Minutewomen walk it off Sunday after dropping Saturday doubleheader
Devin Lippman
Abby Packard tags the runner out at second at Sortino Field on 4/7/24.

The Massachusetts softball team dropped its weekend series against Dayton two games to one.

The Minutewomen (11-23, 7-5 Atlantic 10) hosted the Flyers (18-14, 8-4 A-10) on Saturday and Sunday after sweeping St. Bonaventure the previous week. With six runs off seven hits in the solo game Sunday, UMass secured a win in extra innings.

Senior Jenna Bradley stepped into the box in the bottom of the eighth inning, the score locked at five apiece with two outs and the bases loaded. Bradley hit Haven Dwyer’s 0-1 pitch into left field, scoring senior Chloe Whittier for the 6-5 walk-off victory and giving Bradley a season-high four RBI.

“It’s huge, you know, our next game is going to be against [Boston University], one of the top teams, they’ve been ranked,” head coach Danielle Henderson said. “So, to be able to have that fight, because [BU] is going to have that fight too. So we know that we can come through those pressure situations is going to be big.”

Dayton opened the scoring on Sunday with Maddie Kapsimalis’ RBI single in the top of the first. UMass quickly responded with Bradley’s two-run double and Abby Packard’s single in the bottom half of the inning to give the Minutewomen an early 3-1 lead going into the second, where they added two more runs from an errant pick-off attempt and a Bradley walk, giving them a 5-1 lead entering the third.

The Flyers began to chip away in the third. They had runners on second and third base with only one out. UMass pitcher Julianne Bolton couldn’t find her way out of the jam, giving up a two-run single to Kirnan Bailey to make the score 5-3. Deirdre Flaherty’s sacrifice fly in the fourth and Kaelene Walter’s RBI single in the sixth forced the game into extras.

“[Battling in tight games] was our goal this year, because if you can just compete, you’re going to learn how to win those close games, and that’s what’s going to carry you through the A-10 tournament,” Henderson said.

In the first game of the weekend, the Minutewomen saw themselves going into extra innings once again. After being tied 3-3 in the seventh, UMass had the opportunity to start the weekend on the right foot.

But the first Saturday afternoon matchup didn’t end in its favor. Dayton’s Bailey swung at UMass’ Natalee Horton’s third pitch, hitting it up the first baseline to bring home Walter, securing the Flyers’ first game victory.

Saturday’s second game ended in seven innings, with Dayton securing their second straight victory. The fifth inning decided the contest, with the Flyers scoring their two winning runs off one hit. Third baseman Chloe Wong doubled into right field, bringing in the Flyers’ base runners.

The Minutewomen tried to gain the advantage in the bottom of the fifth, but only scored one run. Sarah Keagy took Haven Dwyer’s strike into right center for a double, allowing Whittier to run home. But Dwyer earned a save to get Dayton out of the inning with the one-run lead as Packard grounded out to second base.

“I thought there were a lot of close games all weekend,” Henderson said. “We competed, we fought hard. [Saturday] didn’t come up in our favor. [Sunday] it did. It’s just a matter of certain balls dropping. I think things went our way [Sunday].”

The Minutewomen will be back in action on Wednesday, April 10 to face Boston University on the road at 4 p.m.

Emma Bensley can be reached at [email protected] and James Rust can be reached at [email protected] and @James_Rust on Twitter.

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