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  • Xavier Suggs

Softball Sweeps UMass Lowell in Dramatic Fashion

Xavier Suggs

The Mountaineers swept UMass Lowell at home on March 16 and 17. With both teams entering the series with three wins, the Mountaineers improved to 6-12 before conference play, while UMass Lowell sank to 3-14 overall. This series continued a trend of close games for the Mount. The preceding double header saw the Mountaineers split one-score games against the Coppin State Eagles.

The first game was deadlocked until the bottom of the fourth inning. A two-run home run off the bat of Tori Bowles (C’24) drove in Julia Vincent (C’24) to give the Mountaineers a 2-0 lead. After the Mountaineers got two runners in scoring position, a single to center from Avery Dinges (C’27) extended the lead to 4-0. On the mound, Olivia Murphy (C’25) held UMass Lowell to just two runs in the fifth, and Sophia Schmehl (C’27) recorded the first save of her collegiate career to close out the game.

Game Two of the doubleheader went to extra innings as the Mountaineers and River Hawks battled back and forth. Teams traded unearned runs to open the scoring. Taylor Williams (C’27) was walked in the bottom of the second inning, then stole second, and a throwing error from UMass Lowell’s catcher allowed Williams to advance to third. Dinges drove the run in with an RBI fielder’s choice. The game was a pitcher’s duel up into extra innings.

Maddie Coleman (C’26) struck out 8, allowing just one hit from the first to seventh innings. UMass Lowell’s Isabell Quintanilla capitalized on the international tiebreaker rule that places a runner on second to start extra innings, homering off Coleman to give the River Hawks a 3-1 lead entering the bottom of the ninth.

In the bottom of the inning, Williams was driven in by Dinges’ single to right field. After a strikeout and a walk, the game rested on Bowles’ bat down one run with two runners on base. Bowles did not disappoint, grounding the ball up the middle. With Dinges rounding third, UMass Lowell’s shortstop Lea White made a diving stop and pitched it to second, but Abigail Perry (C’24) beat out the throw to extend the game to the tenth inning. Coleman kept Lowell off the scoreboard in the top of the tenth, giving the Mountaineers a chance to walk it off. With runners on first and third with no outs, Murphy lined a base hit up the middle to bring grad student Elizabeth King home and win the game.


With the series already decided the day before, the Mount had a chance to sweep UMass Lowell on March 17. The Mountaineers took the lead early in the bottom of the third inning. Gina Del Giorno (C’26) singled to start the rally, and Perry was hit by a pitch. The pair executed a double steal to advance to second and third respectively. Vincent drove in two runs with a single up the middle to give the Mountaineers an early lead. Vincent stole second base and came home on a King hit, extending the lead to 3-0.

UMass Lowell chipped away at the lead in the fourth and fifth, hitting two home runs off Schmehl and Murphy. The game remained deadlocked going into the bottom of the ninth inning thanks to a strong relief appearance from Murphy. The international tiebreaker rule was invoked again, putting Kassidy Johnson (C’24) in second. With the bases loaded, Perry grounded a ball to the UMass shortstop. Johnson beat the shortstop’s throw home, securing the 3-game sweep.

This was the Mount’s fourth extra innings game this season, going 3-1 in those outings. Head Coach Anna Nagro said that the team relied on “returners who have been in a lot of high-pressure situations,” to get them through this series. Nagro believes the Mountaineers can take confidence from this series.


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