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Jamie Cushman of the Daily Collegian takes a look at the start of the UMass softball season after the first nine games. Head coach Kristi Stefanoni says the Minutewomen are off to a good start and the team has identified early issues to work on as the year progresses.

(Cade Belisle/Daily Collegian)

We hope you enjoyed our coaches sharing some of their favorite motivational quotes this week as part of #UMassCoachQuotes. We'll have another round of those coming next week as well. For now, let's look back at what our coaches submitted this past week.

Collegian: Minutewomen continue to show offensive improvement

Jason Kates of the Daily Collegian has an article in Tuesday's paper talking about the offensive strides the UMass softball team has made in the recent weeks.

Did you know the team is second in the A-10 in hitting with a .283 avg. But in their 6 conference games, the Minutewomen are converting at the plate with a .357 rate - more then 40 points head of the No. 2 squad Fordham at .313.

SB Recaps From Wednesday's DH Sweep Over Yale

Here are a few recaps and a photo gallery from Wednesday's doubleheader sweep of Yale in the 2014 home opener. The Minutewomen defeated the Bulldogs 3-1 and 6-1 behind its best offensive output of the season, pounding out 23 hits in the two games and six extra-base hits.

Daily Collegian softball writer Jason Kates has a feature article on Interim Head Softball Coach Kristi Stefanoni. They talk about her love for the game of softball, her high school and college playing days and her first year in charge of the Minutewomen program.

Matt Vautour of the Daily Hampshire Gazette has a story on the start of the UMass softball season. The story focuses on how coach Krisiti Stefanoni and the Minutewomen have been approaching it after losing their mentor and UMass legend Elaine Sortino last August.

The University of Massachusetts softball team is about to start its first season without longtime coach Elaine Sortino, who died last year.

Dan Malone of the Springfield Republican has a story featuring on Kristi Stefanoni as she embarks on her first season as head coach following the passing of her mentor and UMass legend Elaine Sortino this past August.

UMass assistant coach walks in support of Elaine Sortino

Throughout the past two seasons, supporters of the UMass softball program have written letters, created rubber bracelets and attended games in support of longtime head coach Elaine Sortino and her battle with cancer. But associate head coach Kristi Stefanoni took on a personal challenge of participating in a 3-day, 60-mile walk to benefit the Susan G. Komen Foundation.  Daily Hampshire Gazette writer Matt Vautour (@GazetteUMass) recently spoke with Stefanoni and Sortino about the latest gesture to raise money and awareness for cancer research.

Sure it was a long walk. But still it was just a walk, Kristi Stefanoni reasoned. The University of Massachusetts assistant softball coach was a 29-year-old lifelong athlete in terrific shape. She's run in races before. How tough could a walk be?

Late on day two of the Susan G. Komen 3-Day, a 60-mile walk to raise money for breast cancer research, Stefanoni had a new respect for walking as her legs and feet screamed at her.

"The muscles and ligaments were getting pretty sore. People were really starting to suffer. We walked 21 miles on day two," she said. "As in shape as I am, you're body is not meant to walk 20 miles a day for three days in a row."

Every time the pain threatened to get the best of her, she thought of coach Elaine Sortino, her boss, mentor and friend, who is in the middle of her own cancer fight.

"I thought of Elaine and what she goes through every day," Stefanoni said. "That's why I pushed through this walk."

Collegian: Matthew Impress Maroon & White Staff

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Steve Levine of the Daily Collegian has a great story on the emergence of Cyndil Matthew as a threat in the UMass softball team's offense. The story focuses on how the sophomore speedster has learned the art of slap-hitting and, as the No. 9 hitter, has got on base for the top of the lineup.

"She's like our second leadoff [hitter]," Assistant Coach Kristi Stefanoni said. "She's someone we can depend on to get on base and use her speed and then have the heart of the order... [come up] to drive Cyndil in."

Matthew has been getting on base with regularity as of late, batting .346 with a .433 on-base percentage and six runs scored in the last 10 games.