BRONX, N.Y. – Top-seeded Massachusetts will face second-seeded Fordham for the fifth time this season, this time for the 2018 Atlantic 10 Softball Championship. The Minutewomen beat No. 3 Dayton, 6-2, in the consolation bracket final at Bahoshy Field on the campus of Fordham University.
UMass (34-13) swept Fordham during the regular season, but the Rams got revenge earlier Saturday with a win that sent the Minutewomen to the consolation bracket. The Championship final of the double-elimination tournament will be played at 11:00 am Sunday, instead of the regularly scheduled 1:00 pm game time due to weather, with an NCAA Tournament berth on the line. If UMass wins the 11:00 am game, it forces a second, deciding game.
Massachusetts used a five-run third inning to help propel them to the championship final. With the bases loaded and one out, Kaycee Carbone grounded into a fielder’s choice, which scored Riley
With the bases loaded and two outs, Manda Cash’s wild pitch brought Jena Cozza home, to increase UMass’ lead to two. With two on and two outs, Madison Gimpl cleared the bases with her RBI double, widening the lead to 4-0. Amy Smith, the next batter, singled to right center scoring Gimpl in the process.
In the bottom of the fourth with two outs, Atlantic 10 Player of the Year, Cozza, launched a solo home run to left center to put Massachusetts up 6-0.
The Flyers fought back in the top of the sixth, scoring two runs of their own. The first run came when Briley Sidor scored on a wild pitch. With Kelly Fitzgerald on third and Julia
Atlantic 10 Pitcher of the Year, Kiara Oliver (18-3), allowed four hits in five innings of work. Oliver struck out four while only walking one. Dayton’s Cash (16-8) received the loss. She pitched 4.1 innings while allowing six earned runs on six hits.