March 31, 2009
Courtesy of Clark Sports Information
WORCESTER, Mass. – Clark University split a New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) softball doubleheader against MIT on Tuesday afternoon. The Cougars edged the Engineers in the opener, 4-3, but fell 7-6 in the nightcap.
MIT jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the first inning. Junior Lily Keung laid down a bunt single, advanced to second on the throw, and moved to third on sophomore Jessica Oleinik’s groundout. Freshman Bensey Schnip then singled to centerfield to score Keung and put the Engineers up by one run.
Freshman pitcher Jessica Iacobucci kept the Cougars off the board until the fourth inning, when they responded with four runs on six hits to take a 4-1 lead. Juniors Melissa Traft and Darcy Kurashige-Elliott opened the frame with back-to-back singles. Freshman Stefanie Kettenacker followed with an RBI hit and Clark capitalized on an Engineer error for a 2-1 lead. Junior Chelsea Proulx then poked one to right field, while Heather Richards’ infield single put runners on first and second. Junior third baseman Joanna Clark knocked in both runners with a hit to centerfield for the three-run margin.
Sophomore Jenny Li and Iacobucci got RBI hits to pull MIT within 4-3 in the sixth.
But Clark pitcher Sarah Carter, who came on in relief in the sixth, allowed just one hit in the seventh to earn her first save of the season.
Kettenacker and Richards had two hits each in the win. Freshman Meg Lennon (1-0) earned her first victory of the season in relief. Keung went 2-for-3 with a run scored to lead MIT.
In the second game, the Engineers took advantage of three Clark errors and got run-producing hits from Oleinik and Kerri Dixon to go up 5-0.
The Cougars chipped away with a pair of runs in the third and fourth innings for a 5-4 deficit. With two down, Kurashige-Elliott launched a two-run homerun to trail 5-2 in the third. It was her first round tripper of the season. Then Blake’s RBI double and a run-producing hit by Maureen Coakley made it a one-run game in the fifth.
MIT tacked on two insurance runs in the fifth, but Clark would not go away quietly. The Cougars tallied single runs in the fifth and sixth to trail by one (7-6). After Lennon retired the side in order in the top of the seventh, Clark left two runners on base in the bottom of the frame to take the loss.
Elliott led Clark’s 11-hit attack with three hits and two RBI. Traft added two hits and drove in a run. Carter (6-5) suffered the loss in the circle. She allowed five runs (three earned) on seven hits while walking three.
Iacobucci fanned seven batters and walked just one in the win. Schnip paced MIT with a 2-for-4, two RBI performance.
Both teams will be back in action on Friday. Clark will travel to Springfield College for a conference doubleheader at 3:30 p.m., while MIT will play at Smith College for a 3:30 p.m. tilt.