CLERMONT, Fla. – The MIT softball team split a pair of non-conference games against Whitworth University and Eastern Connecticut State University on Monday afternoon at Legends Way Park 3. The Engineers fell to Whitworth, 7-0, in game one before defeating Eastern Connecticut, 9-1, in five innings in their second contest of the afternoon.
Game One: Whitworth 7, MIT 0
Whitworth starter Madi Perez (Fountain Valley, Calif.) earned the win for the Pirates as she tossed a four-hit complete game shutout to go along with five strikeouts in seven innings. MIT senior Alexandra Marshall (Glen Head, N.Y.) shouldered the loss (1-3) as she allowed four runs (two earned), seven hits and struck out five in three innings pitched.
The Pirates scored two runs in the second, two in the third, two in the fifth and one in the sixth to account for the 7-0 score. All five of their run producing hits were singles that plated solo runs, except for junior Shannon Wessel's (Reno, Nevada) knock to centerfield that brought home a pair in the bottom of the third.
MIT had its best scoring chance when the Engineers loaded the bases in the top of the second. Senior Tori Jensen (Holliston, Mass.) and sophomore Zoe Hinton (Aurora, Colo.) reached on fielding errors and classmate Katherine Shade (Glencoe, Ill.) singled up the middle, but it wasn't enough as Hinton was called out at second for interference, ending the threat.
The Engineers had their only other scoring chance in the top of the fifth as sophomore Jasmin Joseph (Woodland Hills, Calif.) blasted a triple to deep centerfield, but Perez induced a pair of groundouts to prevent MIT from getting on the board.
Game Two: MIT 9, Eastern Connecticut 1 – Five Innings
Marshall bounced back for the win (2-3) in the second game as she threw five innings allowing just one run (earned), four hits and one walk alongside nine strikeouts. For Eastern, junior Samantha Valentine (Ridge, N.Y.) was handed the loss (1-2) as she allowed six runs (four earned) and seven hits in 1 1/3 innings in the circle.
MIT got on the board in the bottom of the first when Joseph crossed the plate after an error by the first baseman. Joseph reached base on a single to right and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by junior Monica Shifflet (Poway, Calif.). Jensen followed with a single to left field, scoring sophomore Amanda Lee (Saratoga, Calif.) for the 2-0 lead.
After the Warriors got a run back in the top of the second, the Engineers added four in the bottom of the frame, two more in the third and one in the fourth for the 9-1 advantage. MIT used six hits – five singles and one double – in the second – as the Cardinal and Gray went station to station. The offensive outburst was highlighted by a two run double by Lee in the second and a two run single in the third via Joseph.
Marshall came on in the fifth and closed out MIT's first win of the spring training trip in Florida with a 1-2-3 frame which included a punch out on a called third strike to end the game.
After a day off tomorrow, MIT (2-4) is scheduled to play a doubleheader on Wednesday, March 23 against North Central (Ill.) at 9:00 a.m. and Carthage College at 11:00 a.m. at the Legends Way Complex.