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 advances to Atlantic 10 semifinals

Minutewomen’s dynamic hitting pushes them to victory
Devin Lippman
Daily Collegian (2024)

The Massachusetts softball team survived day two of the Atlantic 10 Tournament on Wednesday night in the Bronx, losing to top-seeded Dayton 13-3 and winning against Saint Joseph’s 8-6.

The Minutewomen (20-34, 14-12 A-10) could not stop the Flyers (31-19, 19-7 A-10) offense as they allowed a ton of multi-run innings, capping it off with a seven-run fourth inning for Dayton. Both Julianne Bolton and Natalee Horton gave up six earned runs while allowing a combined 13 hits to the Flyers. UMass hit two home runs against Dayton but that was all that the offense mustered as it could not get runners on base.

It was a different story against the Hawks (22-30, 14-12 A-10) as the Minutewomen offense woke up, led by Bella Pantoja, who led UMass with four hits. St. Joe’s kept it close with multiple comeback attempts of its own, tying the game in the fifth inning and chipping at the UMass lead throughout the game.

Throughout the tournament, the Minutewomen continuously get on the scoreboard early and that was no different against the Hawks, putting up three runs in the first inning. After a single from Pantoja up the middle that moved Chloe Whittier to third, Lydia Castro brought the two runners home off of a double to right center field. After Castro reached third base on a throwing error, Sarah Keagy added another run off a fielder’s choice.

The Hawks began their fifth inning rally with a Sierra Fretz single to center field, followed by a double by Shelby LaMont, putting runners in scoring position. Gianna Muhaw gave St. Joe’s its first run of the game, pushing a single into shallow center field, scoring LaMont. The Hawks continued to move along the bases with small ball hitting, scoring two more runs with a Kayla Tauber single up the middle, bringing in both Muhaw and Nicole Bondoc.

The response from UMass came in the sixth inning, with the bases loaded. After Whittier got thrown out at home after a smart defensive play from Tauber, it looked as if the Minutewomen wouldn’t capitalize with the bases loaded and two outs. Grace Cadden had other plans as she found her pitch and hammered a bases-clearing triple to right-center field, sending home Odyssey Torres, Pantoja and Castro which pushed their lead 8-4.

In the first game against the Flyers, UMass started off strong offensively as Whittier smashed a solo home run on the first pitch of the game. The Minutewomen hit another home run in the second inning as Jordyn Graime hit her of the season, sending the ball over the left field fence. The two-run shot was the last runs that UMass scored.

The Flyers responded every time that the Minutewomen got on the scoreboard with multi-run innings of their own. Dayton put the game away in the fourth inning, where it scored seven runs. Kirnan Bailey started the party for the Flyers with an RBI single that rolled past third base, scoring Emily Daniel. Chloe Wong followed with a two-RBI single to left field, bringing home Bailey and Emma Schutter. Wong was not on base for long as she ran home from a Molly Grace double.

UMass tried to stop the bleeding with a pitching change, but the hits kept on coming for Dayton, as Kaelene Walter singled to left field, scoring Grace from second base. Capping off the inning, Daniel hit a two-RBI single that scored Walter and Dee Hyde.

Wong led the way for Dayton with four RBIs in the game, two coming from the lopsided fourth inning.

The Minutewomen’s hopes stay alive as they face another elimination game, opposite second-seed Saint Louis. UMass won one of the three games played against Saint Louis earlier this season, winning 5-4 on the road. First pitch is at 2:30 pm.

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

Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

All Massachusetts Daily Collegian Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *