Softball To Open 2018 Season On Friday At Tiger Classic

Thu Feb 8, 2018
AMHERST, Mass. The University of Massachusetts softball team opens the 2018 season on Friday at the Tiger Classic in Baton Rouge, La. at Tiger Park with game one of the five-game weekend slate against Syracuse at 1 p.m. ET before wrapping up the opening day of competition against Southern Miss at 3:30 p.m. UMass will play two games on Saturday, beginning with UT-Arlington at 10:30 a.m. before taking on the host and No. 8-ranked LSU at 6 p.m. on SEC Network+. The final day of weekend competition will conclude for UMass on Sunday with a rematch against Syracuse at 10 a.m.
 
The Minutewomen return six positional starters, two pitchers and nine letterwinners from last year's team that posted a 29-24 record on their way to finishing as the runner-up in the Atlantic 10 regular season before coming a game away from securing the NCAA Tournament automatic bid.
 
Redshirt senior Jena Cozza returns for UMass after posting a .380 average at the plate with five home runs and 17 RBI while starting and appearing in 24 games last season. Cozza heads into her final season in the top-five at UMass in career batting average (4th, .381), slugging percentage (2nd, .645) and on-base percentage (4th, .454).
 
Junior infielder Kaitlyn Stavinoha led the Minutewomen with 63 hits last season to go along with a team-leading 38 RBI while posting a .358 average at the plate. Erin Stacevicz scored a team-leading 35 runs with a .335 average at the plate and a .392 on-base percentage on her way to earning A-10 second-team honors. The junior outfielder ranks in the top-10 at UMass for career batting average with a .348 clip while ranking 20th in career on-base percentage.
 
Senior Meg Colleran returns to the circle for UMass after starting 30 games last season with a 20-14 record while appearing in 36 contests. The right-hander struck out 119 batters last season in 201.2 innings pitched with a 2.60 ERA. Colleran heads into her final season with five career marks in the top-10 at UMass, including seventh in most appearances with 100, ninth in games started and innings pitched while ranking eighth in strikeouts with 313 in her career. Colleran also ranks 10th at UMass in most wins with 45 and in most complete games with 60.
 
UMass continues their non-conference tournament slate the following weekend at the EMU Madeira Beach Spring Invitational, beginning with a contest against UNC-Greensboro on Friday, Feb. 16 at 11 a.m. before wrapping up the tournament against UMKC on Sunday at 11:30 a.m.

Tiger Classic Schedule
Friday, Feb. 9 - UMass vs. Syracuse - 12 p.m. CT/1 p.m. ET
Friday, Feb. 9 - UMass vs. Southern Miss - 2:30 p.m. CT/3:30 p.m. ET
Saturday, Feb. 10 - UMass vs. UT Arlington - 9:30 a.m. CT/10:30 a.m. ET
Saturday, Feb. 10 - UMass at #8 LSU - 5 p.m. CT/6 p.m. ET
Sunday, Feb. 11 - UMass vs. Syracuse - 9 a.m. CT/10 a.m. ET

TOURNAMENT CENTRAL
 
For complete coverage of the UMass softball team, follow the Minutewomen on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook at @UMassSoftball and online at www.UMassAthletics.com.