When Dayton pulled ahead by a run in the top of the sixth, the University of Massachusetts softball team was six outs away from a trip to the Atlantic 10 tournament’s losers’ bracket.
Instead, the No. 4-seeded Minutewomen exploded for six runs in the bottom of the sixth to beat No. 5 Dayton, 7-2, Wednesday in the first round of the conference tournament at Bahoshy Field in Bronx, New York.
“I thought it really showed their determination and guts and what they want to do,” UMass coach Kristi Stefanoni said. “They’re not going to give up for anything. For them to be able to come back with two outs like that, it showed a lot about their heart.”
UMass will play top seed Fordham, Thursday at noon. The Rams swept the teams’ regular-season doubleheader.
“After that game in the regular season, I said to those kids ‘we will see them again,’” Stefanoni said. “We will be back and it will be a different story. I know that we’ll be better and a little more relaxed and we’ll be able to show them what we’re really all about.”
Trailing 2-1, UMass’ rally came with two outs as pinch-hitter Lindsey Zenk’s two-run double put the Minutewomen (16-20-1) ahead and opened the flood gates.
Junior shortstop Quianna Diaz-Patterson, an Amherst Regional product, had three hits and scored twice for UMass, while freshman Jena Cozza had three hits, a run and two RBIs.
Caroline Raymond earned the win allowing five hits, two earned runs — both on solo home runs — and four walks. She didn’t strike anyone out.
Smith College 2, Albertus Magnus 1 — Gina Martucci struck out a career-high 11 as the third-seeded Pioneers (20-13) advanced in the ECAC Division III tournament.
Smith plays Brandeis, Saturday at noon.
Ruth Zimmerman had two hits, while Brittney Blokker added a double and two walks. Caroiline Kushner and Allison Snyder each had a hit, while Sarah Tully earned the game-winning RBI.
Amherst 13, Colorado College 10 — The 12th-ranked Lord Jeffs overcame a four-goal halftime deficit at home to advance in the NCAA Division III tournament.
Devin Acton had six goals, while Quinn Moroney added three goals and three assists in the win.
Amherst will play Union College on Saturday in the second round.