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UMass softball team has some work to do to reach postseason

With the final weekend of the season upon it, the University of Massachusetts softball team has a little work to do just to assure itself a spot in next week’s six-team Atlantic 10 tournament, which starts Wednesday at Elaine Sortino Field.

The Minutewomen (17-22, 11-7 A-10) are tied for fifth with Saint Louis (24-19 overall). UMass hosts Butler (18-24, 7-9) today at 3 p.m. and Saturday at noon before closing the regular season Sunday with a noon doubleheader against SLU in Amherst. Sunday’s games will be part of the annual fanfest.

Because some games were cancelled, not every team will finish the year with the same number of games played. Winning percentages will determine the final standings and of the teams outside of the top six, only Butler and Dayton (20-22, 10-9) can catch UMass.

Butler plays a doubleheader at last-place Rhode Island on Sunday. Dayton has just two games this weekend against La Salle (16-29, 3-17).

Here are the scenarios for the Minutewomen to clinch a postseason berth.

e_STnSIf UMass wins two or more of its four games, it’s assured of a spot in the field.

e_STnSIf the Minutewomen win one game and it’s against Butler, they’d need Dayton to lose at least once. If UMass’ lone win is against SLU, in addition to needing Dayton to lose once, it would also need Butler to lose once.

PLAYERS HONORED — Eight men’s lacrosse players earned All-CAA honors Thursday.

Senior defenseman Jake Smith was the lone Minuteman on the first team. Six players — Kyle Smith, Will Manny, Joe Calvello, Ryan Izzo, Brett Tobin and Ryan Hollenbaugh — were on the second team.

Freshman goalie Zach Oliveri was named to the all-rookie team.

IN ACTION — The baseball team hosts Fordham on Friday (3 p.m.) Saturday (1 p.m.) and Sunday (noon). ... The men’s and women’s track and field teams are at Charlotte for the A-10 Track and Field Championships, Saturday and Sunday. ... The women’s crew team is at the A-10 Regatta on Saturday and the Eastern Sprints on Sunday. Both races are in New Jersey.

Matt Vautour can be reached at mvautour@gazettenet.com. Get UMass coverage delivered in your Facebook news feed at www.facebook.com/GazetteUMassCoverage.

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