CLERMONT, Fla. – The MIT softball team began its annual spring training trip at the National Training Center in Clermont, Fla. with a pair of doubleheaders over the weekend. The Engineers opened the trip with a 3-0 win over Thomas College and finished the weekend with a 1-3 ledger. The Cardinal and Gray now stands at 1-4 on the season.
Tech wasted little time getting on the board against Thomas on Saturday morning, posting a pair of runs in the first. That would prove to be the difference, as senior Jessica Iacobucci (Phoenixville, Pa.) hurled a complete game, three-hit shutout.
After a one, two, three top of the first, senior Nydia Ruleman (Germantown, Tenn.) led off the home half of the first with a walk and moved up on junior Anna Christensen's (Vernon Hills, Ill.) sacrifice. Freshman Sarah Van Belleghem (Los Gatos, Calif.) then laced a triple to plate Ruleman and scored on a Thomas error to put MIT on top 2-0.
Iacobucci set the Terriers down in order in the first, second, fourth and sixth innings, allowing just six base runners while striking out seven. Thomas threatened in the seventh, getting base hits from Mary Grace Morris (Fort Kent, Maine) and McKayla Gastia (Milford, Maine). Iacobucci was able to get out of the jam with a pair of strikeouts and a ground ball to seal the Engineers' first victory of 2012.
In Saturday's nightcap against the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, Tech's seventh-inning rally came up just short in a 3-2 setback at the hands of the Pointers. UWSP notched a pair of runs in the first inning, thanks to a pair of base hits, two walks and a wild pitch.
Stevens Point tacked on another in the third, thanks to Paige Meulmans' (Appleton, Wis.) RBI-single to score Alicia Hahnemann (Appleton, Wis.) from second.
Trailing 3-0 entering the bottom half of the last inning, MIT started its rally with a one-out walk from freshman Kelly Wang (La Canada, Calif.). A sacrifice bunt from junior Emily Creedon (Stoneham, Mass.) moved Wang into scoring position and junior Leah Alpert (Needham, Mass.) put the Engineers into the scoring column with a run-scoring single. Ruleman drove in Alpert two batters later but the rally would stop there, as Sarah Babbitts (Green Bay, Wis.) induced a game-ending ground ball by Iacobucci.
Tech dropped a pair of games on Sunday, falling 8-2 to Middlebury College and 2-0 to Oberlin College. A pair of RBI singles in the sixth inning would prove to be the difference against Oberlin, as MIT put the tying runs on in the top of the seventh but could not push them across.
The Cardinal and Gray will continue its trip on Monday with a pair of games against Williams College and a rematch with Middlebury.