March 26, 2011

Softball Earns Sweep Over Smith, 9-1 and 3-1

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – The MIT softball team hosted Smith College in a New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) doubleheader and came away with a sweep, winning 9-1 and 3-1 at Briggs Field on Saturday afternoon. Jessica Iacobucci threw a pair of complete games, allowing just a pair of runs while striking out 13, to help the Cardinal and Gray improve to .500 in the NEWMAC at 3-3 (4-11 overall).

Keri Dixon broke open game one with a grand slam in the second, as part of a six-run inning that put Tech on top 7-0. Michelle Dion singled to lead things off and Emily Creedon and Nydia Ruleman drew walks to load the bases with no one out. Anna Christensen brought home a pair of runs with a base hit down the left field line. Jessica Oleinik would then walk to set up Dixon's bases-clearing blast to left-centerfield.    

Smith threatened in the fourth with a pair of singles by Kristie Beaton and Tessa Clark, who moved into scoring position on a passed ball. Iacobucci would quickly erase the threat though, by striking out the side.    

Oleinik, who put MIT on the board in the first with an RBI single, doubled into the left-field gap in the bottom of the fifth, scoring a pair of runs and inducing the mercy rule in the 9-1 win.

Iacobucci pitched all five innings in the game one win, allowing just one unearned runs on five hits and striking out seven Smith batters.

The pitchers would settle in during game two, holding both teams scoreless through the first three innings before MIT plated three in the fourth. Ruleman drew a leadoff walk, moved over on Creedon's sacrifice and scored on a base hit by Oleinik. After a Dixon walk loaded the bases, Jenny Li drove in two more with a single into left field to give the Engineers a 3-0 advantage.

Smith pushed across a run in the sixth to get within two at 3-1. Clark singled home Sarah Goodman, who had reached base with a double into the left-centerfield gap. A leadoff  double in the seventh brought the tying run to the plate but the Tech defense came up big to close out the sweep. Christensen snared a liner for the first out and Li made a tremendous running catch in foul territory before Iacobucci recorded the final out on a comebacker.

Oleinik had an outstanding day, going 5-for-6 in the two games with two doubles, a pair of runs and four RBI. Christensen scored three times and drove in a two runs.

Caitlin O'Brien had a team-high three hits for the Pioneers, who fall to 1-11 and 0-4 in league play.

MIT will hit the road next, traveling to Wellesley College for a NEWMAC doubleheader on Friday, April 1 beginning at 3:00 p.m. Smith will take on Elms College in a non-conference tilt on Monday, March 28 at 4:30 p.m.