NEW LONDON, Conn. - After playing its last four games at home, the MIT softball team hit the road for a New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) double header at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy on Friday afternoon. Tech fell in the first game, 10-2, in six innings, before dropping a very close game by a score of 10-9. The Engineers dipped to 7-13 and 4-6 in NEWMAC play, while the Bears improved to 10-14 and 3-7 in league action.
Coast Guard was first to score, tallying four runs in the bottom of the third inning of the first game. MIT's two runs were scored in the fourth, with junior Karly McLaughlin (Edwardsville, Ill.) starting things off with a single up the middle. She advanced to third on an out by the next batter and a single by freshman Ali Trueworthy (Rochester, N.H.). An RBI single by classmate Monica Shifflet (Poway, Calif.) sent McLaughlin home and put the Engineers' first run on the board. With the bases loaded, Shifflet was able to score on a wild pitch.
Tech sat all three batters down quickly in the bottom of the fourth, allowing zero hits. MIT had the opportunity to score two additional runs in the top of the fifth to tie the score, but the Bears' defense prevented that from happening when they caught both batters out at home. With Coast Guard's two runs in the fifth and its four in the sixth, the game ended with a Bears' victory.
In a close second game, almost all of the Engineers had a hand in scoring runs. Sophomore Tori Jensen (Holliston, Mass.) and McLaughlin led the team with a home run apiece, with Jensen going 2-for-4 with two runs and one RBI and McLaughlin going 2-for-4 with one run scored and two RBI.
With neither team scoring in the first inning, MIT started the second when leadoff batter Jensen smacked the ball over the fence to take a 1-0 lead. The game was tied in the bottom of the third when Grills scored the Bears' first run of the game, but Tech took control, once again, in the top of the next inning when it scored three runs.
Junior Ellie Fodor (Trenton, Mich.) started the inning by singling, made it to third when freshman Mackenzie Donnelly (Helena, Mont.) and Jensen both reached first on a fielder's choice, and was sent home off a McLaughlin single. Immediately after her, Donnelly scored off a single by junior K.K. Wopat (Edwardsville, Ill.) and Jensen scored her second run of the day on a single by freshman Helen Rosenthal (Bethesda, Md.).
Coast Guard tied the score in the next inning and cruised ahead with a four-run sixth inning, giving the Bears an 8-4 lead. The Engineers did not allow that lead to last, as they took the lead with a four-run seventh inning. McLaughlin led off with her first home run of the season and Wopat, Trueworthy and Shifflet all made it home soon after. With a score of 9-8 in the Engineers' favor heading into the bottom of the seventh, Jessie Richardson and Erin Lisko scored to end the game.
Tech will next play NEWMAC rival Wheaton College tomorrow, April 12, on the road at 12:00 and 2:00 p.m.