UMass Clinches Atlantic 10 Tournament Berth With 7-0 Shutout Victory Over URI
April 29, 2014
AMHERST, Mass. - A year ago the Massachusetts softball team ended the regular-season on the outside looking in with regard to the Atlantic 10 Championship tournament, a feeling that ate at players and coaches all offseason.
On Tuesday they made sure that feeling wouldn't return this year with a 7-0 victory over Rhode Island at Sortino Field, an outcome that clinched one of the six spots in next week's event, which begins Wednesday at Bahoshy Field in Fordham's campus.
Game One - UMass won 7-0
UMass (14-19, 8-5 Atlantic 10) got base hits from eight starters including a 3-run home run from senior Tiffany Meeks who has feasted on URI her entire career.
Leading 4-0 after four innings, Meeks hit her team-leading sixth home run to put the game out of reach in the fifth.
That was more than enough for junior Caroline Raymond, who struck out two and scattered six hits for her seventh career shutout victory and first in two seasons.
Game Two - Suspended in the 9th with the score tied 2-2
The second game was suspended after nine innings and the score tied at 2 due to darkness. A ruling will come from the Atlantic 10 in the coming days as to whether the game will be completed or end in a tie.
UMass scored the first run in the bottom of the first when Diaz-Patterson tripled to the wall in right center and scored on an overthrow to third.
The Minutewomen went up 2-0 in the fourth when Meeks hit her second homer of the day and fourth in as many games. She moved into sole possession of sixth place in the UMass record book with the 27th of her career, while it was her eighth in eight total games against the Rams.
URI bounced back in the sixth, scoring a run on an RBI single by Gleason, before Summers scored from second following an error by Wince on a play at the plate.
UMass had some big at-bats in the next few innings, including long fly balls to the warning track by Cozza and Lemire in the sixth, Meeks in the seventh and Carbone in the eighth, but all were caught with a few on dead sprints by the Ram outfielders and one at the top of the fence.
UMass is scheduled to play host to Boston University on Wednesday in its Strikeout Cancer game at 5 p.m., but the weather forecast calls for a 40-60 percent chance of rain throughout the day. The regular-season finale will be on Saturday against George Mason with a doubleheader set to begin at Noon.
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