CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Battling Emerson College for the first time since 1999, the MIT softball team walked away with two wins at its first New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) home double header on Friday afternoon. Tech won the first game easily, 5-1, but had to go to tie breaker to win the second by a score of 8-7 in eight innings. The Engineers are now 6-10 and 3-3 in conference action, while the Lions dipped to 10-11 on the season and 0-6 in league play.
Five different Engineers scored runs in the first game. Freshman Emily Van Belleghem (Los Gatos, Calif.) went 2-for-3 with one run, while sophomore Tori Jensen (Holliston, Mass.) led both teams with three RBI. Jensen and freshman Mackenzie Donnelly (Helena, Mont.) led the way in the second game, with Jensen going 3-for-4 with two runs and another three RBI and Donnelly going 2-for-4 with two runs. Junior Ellie Fodor (Trenton, Mich.) earned the win in both games, pitching a total of 12 innings and allowing eight hits and just three runs, while striking out 15 batters.
MIT had a two-run lead in the third inning when Van Belleghem got things started by singling and making it to third when freshman Monica Shifflet (Poway, Calif.) was walked and fellow freshman Natalie Shifflet (Poway, Calif.) singled. Emily Van Belleghem scored off an RBI single by junior Sarah Van Belleghem (Los Gatos, Calif.) and Monica Shifflet followed suit off a Jensen single.
Emerson's lone run came in the top of the sixth when Brittany Rochford reached on an error, making it to third on a fly out and arriving home on a Jenna Giannelli single. Tech tacked on one more run in the sixth, courtesy of freshman Helen Rosenthal (Bethesda, Md.) who pinch ran for Emily Van Belleghem, bringing MIT's total to five runs. With three swift outs for the Lions in the top of the seventh, the first game ended and the second soon began.
The Lions took a 2-0 lead in the first inning, starting when Shannon Torosian singled and was sent home on a double by Giannelli, who made it home shortly thereafter on a Bianca Buono single. Emerson would maintain that edge until the bottom of the second, when the Cardinal and Gray scored four runs to take the lead. With a score of 4-2, the Lions crept closer with another run in the third, but the gap increased further when Jensen hit her second homerun of the week, allowing Sarah Van Belleghem to score as well. Donnelly hit her first triple of her collegiate career and added the third run of the inning off a single by junior K.K. Wopat (Edwardsville, Ill.), giving the Engineers a 7-3 advantage.
Emerson answered the call when it scored two runs in the fifth and two in the sixth, tying the score at seven and forcing the game into a tie breaker. In the top of the eighth, Rochford was placed on second and advanced to third on an out. Giannelli was walked and advanced to second, but neither runner was able to advance further before the third out was called.
With Monica Shifflet on second, Natalie Shifflet was walked and both advanced a base when the first out occurred. When Sarah Van Belleghem was walked, the bases were loaded with just one out. The game ended when Jensen was walked, allowing Monica Shifflet to score the eighth run.
MIT will host NEWMAC rival Springfield College tomorrow, with games being played at 12:00 and 2:00 p.m.