AMHERST, Mass. – For the fifth time this season, Sara Plourde held a team hitless as No. 21 UMass defeated Quinnipiac, 6-0, at the UMass Softball Complex on Tuesday afternoon. The sophomore right-hander struck out eight batters, while Sarah Reeves paced the offense with a two-run home run. The win is the Minutewomen’s 13th in a row and improves them to 28-7 on the season while the Bobcats go to 21-21.
Plourde (27-5) allowed just two base-runners in the game on two walks, to the game’s leadoff batter and with two-outs in the fourth inning. The nation’s leader in strikeouts recorded eight to run her season total to 399. She trails just Danielle Henderson’s 1999 (465) and 1998 (430) seasons for the most strikeouts by a UMass pitcher. It was also her 12th shutout of the season.
The Minutewomen recorded five hits in the game, one each by the first five batters in the lineup, and benefited from two Bobcats errors, accounting for three unearned runs. UMass also stole a season-high seven bases, led by two each from Carly Normandin and Jill Andrews.
UMass struck first in the second inning when pinch-runners Christine Della Vecchia and Andrews both scored unearned runs. Andrews run came on a steal of home on a successful first-and-third double-steal.
Kyllie Magill’s RBI single in the fourth inning scored Normandin, who had reached on a fielder’s choice and stole second. That set the table for Reeves, the reigning A-10 Player of the Week, who drove a 2-1 pitch over the left field fence and the outer fence of softball complex. It was the senior’s eighth home run of the season and third in her last three games.
Emily Bellush (4-5) took the loss for Quinnipiac, allowing all six runs, three earned, on five hits and four walks.
The no-hitter was the sixth of Plourde’s career. The Bristol, Conn. native had one as a freshman and five this season, including a combined perfect game with Bailey Sanders in a five-inning win at George Washington (17-0) on March 28. Her last no-hitter previous to Tuesday was 3-0 over Charlotte on April 9.
The Minutewomen travel to St. Louis to take on the Billikens in a two-game A-10 series on Friday and Saturday. Friday’s game begins 6 p.m. ET while Saturday’s first pitch is slated for 1 p.m. ET.