Engineers Clinch Berth in NEWMAC Championship After Sweeping WPI
BABSON PARK, Mass. – Unable to play at home as planned, MIT traveled to Babson Park to face WPI in a New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) double header on a sunny Wednesday afternoon. There, the MIT Engineers defeated the WPI Engineers in both games with a score of 2-1 in the first game and 8-2 in the second. MIT is now 16-12 and 7-7 in NEWMAC play, while WPI ended its season with a record of 11-23 and 5-11 in conference action.
With these wins, MIT clinched a spot in the upcoming NEWMAC championship, set to start on Saturday, as the fifth seed. The last time the Cardinal and Gray made it to the tournament was in 2005.
MIT's first run came at the bottom of the first inning of the first game when sophomore Sarah Van Belleghem (Los Gatos, Calif.) hit a double and then made it home off a double by freshman Tori Jensen (Holliston, Mass.). The score remained at 1-0 until the top of the fourth, when Lauren DiFelice scored WPI's only run of the game, tying the score at 1-1.
At the bottom of the sixth, senior Leah Alpert (Needham, Mass.) singled, made it to second off a single by sophomore Kelly Wang (La Canada, Calif.) and made it home on an error by the pitcher. With only one WPI batter being able to make it on base in the final two innings, the game ended with an MIT victory.
Freshman Alexandra Marshall (Glen Head, N.Y.) earned the win for MIT, pitching all seven innings and allowing only six hits and one run, while striking out 13.
MIT had a very strong second game, scoring eight runs in six innings. Van Belleghem, once again, started things off with a run in the first inning and was soon followed by Marshall and senior Anna Christensen (Vernon Hills, Ill.), giving MIT an early lead. Van Belleghem and Marshall would both go on to score again in the fourth inning and Christensen earned her second run of the day at the bottom of the sixth. Jensen earned her first run of the day in the fourth inning.
WPI's two runs came in the fifth and sixth innings. In the fifth, Nicole McDonough scored off a single by DiFelice and, in the sixth inning, Amanda Pierce scored an unearned run off a single by McDonough.
Christensen went 3-for-4 with two runs and two RBIs, while Jensen also went 3-for-4 with one run and two RBIs. Sophomore Ellie Fodor (Trenton, Mich.) earned her tenth win for the season at the mound. In seven innings, she allowed ten hits and only two runs and struck out six batters.
MIT will return to action on Saturday, April 27 when it travels to Springfield, Mass. to face No. 4 seed Wellesley College at 12:00 p.m. in game one of the NEWMAC tournament.