UMass Outslugs Dayton, 14-12; Splits A-10 Opening Weekend
March 23, 2013
DAYTON, Ohio -- Katie Bettencourt and Tiffany Meeks combined for seven hits and eight runs batted in to lead Massachusetts past Dayton, 14-12, as the teams split their two-game set on the opening weekend of Atlantic 10 play.
UMass (3-14, 1-1 A-10) snapped a 11-game losing skid and will face Boston College in it's home opener on Wednesday with a 3:00 p.m. start at Sortino Field.
The Minutewomen collected season highs with 15 hits - five from Bettencourt on five at-bats - 14 runs and 14 RBIs. Meeks finished with two hits and a career-high five RBI. Cyndil Matthew, Lindsey Webster and Olivia Godin also all had two hits apiece.
UMass starter Emma Mendoker (1-8) had a career-high four strikeouts and picked up her first win in nine starts. Caroline Raymond earned her second save of the season and struck out three in 3.1 innings.
The Minutewomen started off strong in the top of the first inning when Meeks hit a three run home run to left field. Matthew lead off with a walk and Bettencourt singled through the right side. With two outs, Meeks put three on the board with a ball that just got over the left field fence.
Dayton scored on a sacrifice fly in the bottom of the first but wouldn't score again until the bottom of the fourth inning. UMass had a six run inning in the third inning, when they started off with a home run by Bettencourt to put them up 4-1. Two walks and a single by Meeks loaded the bases and Lindsey Webster hit a double to deep right field, just fair, to send in two more runs.
With two outs and two runners in scoring position, Godin posted her first hit of the season and of her career, a single through the left side, that also earned her two RBIs. A walk and a single got Godin home and gave the Minutewomen a 9-1 advantage going into the bottom of the third.
Dayton answered in the bottom of the fourth inning with seven runs that put them within one of tying the game. Mendoker walked the first batter of the inning and then gave up a home run to the second, giving Dayton two more on the board. With two outs, a routine play to Teea Rogers at third base should have been the end of the inning but an error on the throw to Meeks at first base allowed the batter to get on and the runner to get to third. A single through the right side got another run to score and a walk loaded the bases.
A single up the middle cut the UMass lead to four and a hit batter and a walk cut the lead to two. One more single would send in the eighth Dayton run of the game and bring the Flyers within one run of the Minutewomen.
UMass put one run on the board in the top of the fifth to give them a two run cushion. Godin had her second hit of the game, a single to the center field wall, and Matthew followed with a single to the second baseman, which she fielded and overthrew second base, allowing both runners to advance. Bettencourt got a ball to drop in shallow center field to score the lone run of the inning.
Dayton scored one in the bottom of the sixth but UMass rallied in the seventh inning and scored four runs on four hits. Maggie Quealy, Matthew, and Bettencourt all hit singles, and Taylor Carbone reached on a fielder's choice that resulted in a run and an error on the play allowed all runners to reach their bases safely.
With bases loaded, Quianna Diaz-Patterson hit a single through the left side that send in Matthew, and a fielder's choice allowed Meeks to get on. An error on the play allowed two runs to score and Diaz-Patterson to get to second. UMass ended the inning with a 14-9 advantage.
Dayton attempted to come back from the five run deficit in their last at bat but could only score three runs and fell to the Minutewomen 14-12.