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Friday’s colleges: UMass softball team suffers critical loss to Butler

The University of Massachusetts softball team left the tying runs on base in the bottom of the seventh as the Minutewomen fell 4-2 to Butler, Friday at Elaine Sortino Field.

UMass (17-23, 11-8 Atlantic 10) has yet to sew up a spot in next week’s conference tournament, which will be held at Sortino Field. The Minutewomen can clinch a berth with two wins in this weekend’s remaining three games, which are all at home. They play Butler (18-24, 8-9) again on Saturday at 1 p.m. and have a noon Sunday doubleheader against Saint Louis. Without two wins, UMass will be counting on Rhode Island (9-35, 2-16) and St. Bonaventure (10-40, 4-16), teams near the bottom of the standings, to deliver upsets for the Minutewomen to have a chance to get in.

Trailing 4-1 with two outs in the bottom of the seventh Friday, Bridget Lemire hit a ball to deep center that was misplayed by outfielder Krosley Ogden, allowing Lemire to reach third. Cyndil Matthew followed with an RBI single to right. Former Amherst High School standout Quianna Diaz-Patterson drew a walk to put the trying run on first, but Katie Bettencourt flied to center to end the threat and game.

After Butler took a 2-0 lead in the first, UMass got one back on Teea Rogers’ RBI single in the second. But the Minutewomen didn’t get another hit until the seventh as the Bulldogs added insurance runs in the fifth and sixth off Caroline Raymond, who was plagued by three errors that led to three unearned runs. She gave up five hits and four walks while striking out four. She fell to 14-12 this season.

Baseball

Fordham 12, UMass 5 — After the Minutemen scored four times in the bottom of the eighth to cut their deficit to 6-5, they gave up six runs in the top of the ninth to end any hopes of a come-from-behind win.

Rob McLam, Nic Campero and Vinny Scifo each had two hits for UMass (11-26, 4-12 Atlantic 10).

Vanderbilt 3, South Carolina 2 — Amherst native Kevin Ziomek struck out four, walked none and allowed eight hits over eight innings as he improved to 9-2 with the victory for the No. 2-ranked Commodores (39-6).

The 15th-ranked Gamecocks are 33-12.

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