April 17, 2012

Harrington's Game One Heroics Help MIT Sweep Smith

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Senior Katie Harrington (Lexington, Ky.) delivered a walk-off single in game one and freshman Karly McLaughlin (Edwardsville, Ill.) had five hits on the day as MIT secured a two-game sweep of visiting Smith College in New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) softball play on Tuesday afternoon. Harrington's game-winner came in the bottom of the eighth to lift Tech to a come-from-behind, 3-2 win in the opener. The Engineers then took the nightcap, 9-1, in five innings to improve to 9-18 overall and 5-7 in the NEWMAC. With four games remaining, the Cardinal and Gray is within one game of sixth place in the league standings, with six teams qualifying for the conference tournament.

With the international tiebreaker in effect in the eighth inning, the Pioneers (4-22, 1-11 NEWMAC) pushed one run across thanks to a two-out base-hit through the left side of the infield off the bat of senior Kirstie Beaton (Osterville, Mass.) to plate Sarah Goodman (Pittsford, N.Y.). Freshman Ellie Fodor (Trenton, Mich.) ended the threat one batter later with a strikeout to strand Beaton at second.

In the home half of the eighth, junior Anna Christensen (Vernon Hiills, Ill.) drove in freshman Sarah Van Belleghem (Los Gatos, Calif.) to start the comeback. The junior moved into scoring position on the next play, as Smith rightfielder, Kate Durkin (Victor, N.Y.), threw the ball away trying to double-off Christensen at first. After an Emily Creedon (Stoneham, Mass.) walk, Harrington delivered the clutch hit to seal the game one win.

Smith scored its first run of the game in the first inning, as Goodman crossed the plate on an MIT error. The Engineers answered in the bottom of the sixth, with Harrington doing the damage again, singling to right to drive in Fodor.

Fodor picked up the win, her fifth of the year, by working all eight innings and giving up just the two, unearned runs while striking out five. Sophomore Kayla Kiers (West Warwick, R.I.) took the loss for Smith, going 7.1 innings and giving up three runs, only one of which was earned.

The Tech bats picked up in the second game, pounding out 10 hits and nine runs to win in the mercy-rule shortened contest. McLaughlin had four hits and scored three runs while driving in one. Harrington picked up her second two-hit game of the afternoon while senior Jessica Iacobucci (Phoenixville, Pa.) allowed just two hits over five innings of work to improve to 3-9 on the season.

After scoring a pair of runs off of Kiers in both the first and third innings, the Engineers opened up an 8-1 lead with four more runs in the fourth. McLaughlin started things off with a double to left-centerfield and scored later in the inning. Junior Leah Alpert (Needham, Mass.) followed with a base-hit and would come home on Fodor's RBI-groundout. Junior Nydia Ruleman (Germantown, Tenn.) drew a two-out, bases-loaded walk and Iacobucci drove in Creedon with a single to left.

Creedon picked up the game-ending RBI in the fifth with her single up the middle, as McLaughlin crossed the plate for the third time.

The Cardinal and Gray will travel to Babson College, one of the two teams they are chasing in the NEWMAC standings, for a pair of games on Friday, April 20 at 3:00 p.m. Tech will then return home to play WPI on Saturday at 12:00 p.m. Smith welcomes Clark University on Friday before closing out its season on the road at Wellesley College.