NORTHAMPTON, Mass. – Concluding the third straight day of doubleheader action for the MIT softball team, the Engineers' extended their win streak to nine consecutive games with a two-game sweep of Smith College in New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) play this afternoon in western Massachusetts.
Game One: MIT 5, Smith 0
The MIT bats finally came alive as today's opening contest marked the first time since March 26 that the Engineers have put up more than two runs on the board in a single game. Senior Alexandra Marshall (Glen Head, N.Y.) continued her dominant season in the circle as she earned the win (8-4) throwing six shutout innings, scattering four hits and three strikeouts. Smith sophomore Rowan Turner (Prairie Village, Kan.) took the loss on five innings pitched, two runs (both earned), four hits and one punch out.
After Turner set down the first two batters of the game, MIT strung together three straight hits to take an early 2-0 lead. Sophomore Amanda Lee (Saratoga, Calif.) and senior Tori Jensen (Holliston, Mass.) both singled to left and were quickly cleared off the bases on a two-run double to deep center by freshman Kim Veldee (Kirkland, Wash.).
Marshall was perfect through three before Smith produced back-to-back base hits in the fourth, but the senior stayed composed and struck out the side, ending the threat.
In the sixth, Lee drove in her team leading 13th RBI of the season, plating classmate Jasmin Joseph (Woodland Hills, Calif.) from third. Both Lee and Joseph went 3-for-4 in game one, highlighting the offensive attack for the Engineers. MIT grew its lead to 5-0 in the seventh when the Cardinal and Gray scored two runs on five hits. Joseph singled home freshman Lisa Zhu (Columbus, Ohio), while Lee drove home sophomore Katherine Shade (Glencoe, Ill.), putting the game out of the Pioneers' reach.
Freshman Amber VanHemel (Coconut Creek, Fla.) came on to pitch for MIT in the seventh as she closed the game allowing one hit, before getting the hosts to ground out to shortstop, ending the contest with a 5-0 final.
Game Two: MIT 10, Smith 2 – Six Innings
MIT scored at least one run in every inning except the fifth in a power outburst in the nightcap against Smith. Both junior Monica Shifflet (Poway, Calif.) And freshman Erika Anderson (Carlsbad, Calif.) contributed two hits and three RBI's in the offensive effort.
Engineers' freshman Ravenne Nasser (Methuen, Mass.) picked up her third win in as many days (3-1), this time pitching in three innings of relief, allowing one run (earned), two hits alongside three strikeouts. Smith junior Natalie Burchat (Shrewsbury, Mass.) shouldered the loss (4-3) on 5 2/3 innings, nine runs (seven earned), ten hits, three walks and five strikeouts.
Before the Pioneers got a chance to bat, the Cardinal and Gray put a two-spot on the board. Anderson reached on an error by the second baseman, which allowed both Jensen and Lee to score the opening runs. MIT then added single runs in the second, third and fourth for a 5-0 lead midway through the contest.
In the sixth, MIT added five runs on five hits as the Engineers sent ten batters to bat in the frame. M. Shifflet doubled home Joseph from first, while Lee singled allowing Zhu to cross home plate. After a pitching change, Veldee drove in Lee and in the very next at-bat Anderson plated Veldee and Jensen accounting for the 10-2 final score.
Both teams return to the diamond in non-conference doubleheader action on Tuesday, April 5. MIT (13-5, 6-0 NEWMAC) travels to Salve Regina University for a 4:00 start, while Smith (6-10, 3-3 NEWMAC) heads to Westfield State University with first pitch slated for 3:30 p.m.