April 20, 2009
WORCESTER, Mass. - WPI Softball earned a doubleheader sweep over MIT, 8-0 and 4-1, in NEWMAC softball action on Monday. The wins and subsequent coin flip allow WPI to claim the sixth and final spot in the NEWMAC Tournament. WPI improved to 14-21 and 6-10 in the conference, while MIT sees its season come to an end with a 6-21 record and 3-13 mark in the NEWMAC.
The 6-10 NEWMAC record tied the Engineers with Wheaton for the sixth and final spot in the postseason tournament. The two teams had split their doubleheader on Friday and had identical results versus every team in the league as well as the same record versus common non-conference opponents. In accordance with the NEWMAC tiebreaker, a coin flip was held following the game at Babson College, home of NEWMAC offices. The Crimson and Gray won the flip and earned a spot in the NEWMAC Tournament for the first time since 2006.
WPI starter Allie Hardy kept her string of dominating performances going, tossing five shutout innings in the opener for her 10th win of the season (10-5). The freshman only allowed one hit, a Katie Harrington infield single in the second inning. She struck out four in game one and lowered her ERA to 0.90 in her rookie season. Jessica Oleinik started for MIT and took the loss, falling to 1-8 on the season.
After MIT threatened in the top of the first of game one but did not score, WPI struck first in the home half, plating five runs to take command early. Nicole Maglione led off the inning with a walk before Kelly Johnson set up the WPI rally by reaching on a bunt single down the first base line. Following a wild pitch that moved up the runners, Jen Richards reached base via a dropped third strike and throwing error that sent home both runners for a 2-0 WPI lead. MIT recorded the first out of the inning on a fielder's choice before Kim Martilla walked. Amanda Martori laid down a sac bunt attempting to move the runners into scoring position, but a throwing error allowed her to reach, while a run scored and Martilla moved to third. Martori then stole second with Martilla scoring on the throw, and moved to third on a wild pitch. She scored the last run of the rally as Meg Foley delivered her with a clean single to left for a 5-0 lead after one for the home club.
WPI was back at it in the bottom of the second, scoring two more runs to pad its lead. Maglione started things again, leading the inning off with a single. After MIT registered an out via strikeout, Richards drove a 1-0 pitch to deep left for her ninth home run of the season and a 7-0 WPI lead. Maglione also drove home the clinching run on a single to left in the bottom of the fifth. Richards and Maglione were honored between games in WPI's senior day festivities, along with senior catcher Sara Migdal. Richards went 1-for-3 with 2 RBIs in game one, while Maglione reached all four times, had three base hits, scored two runs and drove in one in the first game of her final home regular-season NEWMAC doubleheader.
The Crimson and Gray also got off to a good start in game two, scoring two runs in the second inning for an early 2-0 advantage. Migdal led off the inning with an infield single on the left side and moved to second on a wild pitch. Martilla followed with a base hit to center that moved Migdal to third. Martilla t then stole second for the second time of the afternoon before Martori drove Migdal home with the game's first run on a single to center. Martilla later scored on a fielder's choice, giving the home side a 2-0 lead after two.
In MIT's half of the fourth, the visitors were able to cut the WPI lead in half, thanks to a solo home run to right off the bat of Jenny Li, making the score 2-1. WPI responded however, tacking on two more runs for a 4-1 edge. Martilla singled with one out in the inning, followed by Martori reaching on a fielder's choice that forced Martilla out. Foley then drove a double into the gap in left-center, plating Martori before she came around to score herself on a throwing error that made the score 4-1 after four innings.
Erin Flaherty got the start for WPI and pitched well in going the full seven innings, allowing one run on five hits and striking out six. She improved her mark to 3-8 on the season.
Abby Van Hook started for MIT, suffering the loss to fall to 0-6 on the year. Chelsea Ostrander ripped a double for the visiting Engineers while Jessica Iacobucci and Kaitlyn McCartney each added a single.
WPI now moves on to the NEWMAC Tournament, which will get underway on Wednesday. The Engineers will face Clark at 2:30pm at Wellesley College, with the winner playing the host Blue immediately after. The three-day, double-elimination tournament will conclude this weekend at Coast Guard.