UMass Runs Win Streak To 11 With Sweep of Rhode Island
April 24, 2012
AMHERST, Mass. - Massachusetts combined for 14 runs on 22 hits to sweep Rhode Island in a doubleheader at the UMass Softball Complex on Tuesday.
UMass (27-11, 13-0 Atlantic 10) got production throughout the lineup in claiming a 5-4 win in game one before cruising to a 9-1 five-inning victory in the second game. UMass has won 11-consecutive games and claimed at least one 'run-rule' win over six of the seven A-10 teams it has faced.
Diaz-Patterson collected five hits on the day and hit the ball hard every time up. Bettencourt had a double, belted her third home run of the year, walked twice and drove in four. Matthew and Lindsey Webster each had four hits and an RBI, while Matthew also scored four times.
Sara Plourde (26-9) picked up both victories as she combined to strike out 26 of the 50 batters she faced while scattering seven hits. She surpassed the 400-strikeout plateau to become the first player in school history to accomplish the feat three times in a career.
UMass erased an early 2-0 deficit in the first game with a four run third inning. The Minutewomen strung together five-straight hits, including a two-run double by Bettencourt. Two more runs scored two batters later on a Kyllie Magill single.
The Minutewomen went up 5-2 an inning later before Brittany Julich hit a two-run homer in the seventh to account for the 5-4 final.
Julich led off the second game with a solo home run to give the Rams a 1-0 lead. But UMass got the run back in the bottom half on a Plourde sacrifice fly.
The Minutewomen jumped out to a 5-1 lead with a three-run second inning that was highlighted by Bettencourt's shot over the wall in center.
After a run in the fourth, UMass ended the contest with three in the fifth. Tiffany Meeks led off with a home run off the top of the scoreboard in left - her fifth of 2012, Webster doubled and scored before Diaz-Patterson knocked in Matthew four batters later.
Rhode Island (18-28-1, 2-10-1) used five pitchers on the day. Starters Erika Szymanski (4-11) in game one and Sam Bedore (9-11) in game two took the loss in each game.
UMass will step out of conference play on Thursday when it welcomes Fairfield (24-23) to town for a single game at 5 p.m. On Sunday the Minutewomen will play host to Charlotte for Senior Day and the Fifth Annual FanFest. The doubleheader will start at Noon.