CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – The MIT softball team dropped a pair of games to Clark University, losing the opener, 6-0, before falling 13-2 in game two, in a New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) doubleheader on Saturday afternoon at Briggs Field. It was the NEWMAC opener for the Engineers, who drop to 4-8 overall. Pitchers Sarah Carter, Nicole Meuse and a stellar Clark defense combined to limit the Cardinal and Gray to just two runs all day.
In game one, Clark (13-3, 3-1 NEWMAC) broke things open with a five-run third and Carter kept MIT at bay, allowing just five baserunners all game. Joanna Clark reached base twice and scored both times while Darcey Kurashige-Elliott drove in a pair of runs for the Cougars. Emily Creedon had a pair of hits for Tech in the loss.
After three straight walks loaded the bases, Melissa Traft put the visitors on the board with a sacrifice fly to score Clark. Kurashige-Elliott then hit a single up the middle to plate two more. Stefanie Kettenacker’s double brought home another run and Chelsea Proulx added another RBI single.
MIT had a chance to put runs on the board in the home half of the third, as Jenny Li hit a one-out triple over the centerfielder’s head. However, Carter was able to retire the final two batters, stranding Li 90 feet from home.
Carter went the distance, striking out three while allowing just three hits and walking a pair. Jessica Iacobucci took the loss for the Engineers, allowing six runs on seven hits while striking out 10.
In the second game, the Clark bats came alive early, pushing across one run in the first and then tagging MIT starter Trinity Leonard for seven runs in the next two innings. A pair of Tech errors led to three runs in the second. Then, after walking the bases loaded with one out in the third, Mel Melkonian hit a bases clearing triple to left centerfield and scampered home on a poor relay throw. The Cougars would add five more runs in the top of the fifth before winning the shortened game, 13-2.
Meuse earned her fifth win of the year, working five innings and allowing just the two runs on seven hits. Leonard took the loss for MIT, surrendering eight runs over two and two-thirds.
Melkonian finished the day five-for-six with four runs and five RBI. Li was a perfect three-for-three with a walk in two games while Creedon had a team-high four hits.
The Engineers will look to bounce back next Friday, April 2 when they host Wellesley for a NEWMAC double-header, beginning at 3:30 p.m. Clark will welcome in Springfield College on Friday for a pair of games.