Shade Saves Game One Super Regional Win For MIT With Diving Catch

Sophomore Katherine Shade
Sophomore Katherine Shade


- MIT freshman Amber VanHemel (Coconut Creek, Fla.) knocked home the game winning run in the top of the sixth and senior Alexandra Marshall (Glen Head, N.Y.) threw a two-hit complete game shutout to send the Cardinal and Gray over host WPI, 1-0, in game one of the NCAA Division III Softball Worcester Super Regional. 

With the win, MIT improves to 32-12 this season and needs just one win tomorrow to move on to the NCAA Division III Softball College World Series next week. WPI, now 38-8, trails the best of three series and needs a pair of victories tomorrow to advance. Tomorrow's first game has been moved up to a 12:00 p.m. start time due to the concern of inclement weather later in the afternoon.

Down to its final three outs, WPI had runners on first and second with two outs in the seventh. Worcester's Engineers brought pinch-hitter RiAnna May (Westminster, Colo.) to the plate. May lined the ball to deep right field, but MIT sophomore Katherine Shade (Glencoe, Ill.) made a diving catch to end the first game of the Super Regional, giving the Cardinal and Gray a 1-0 series lead.

The game was scoreless heading into the sixth, but MIT cracked the 0-0 tie when VanHemel lined a single up the middle plating sophomore Jasmin Joseph (Woodland Hills, Calif.) from second. Joseph, who went 3-for-3 from the leadoff spot today, began the frame with a double to right center, before VanHemel hit her home.

Marshall improved to 24-10 in the circle, allowing just two hits and a pair of walks to go along with three punchouts. The senior retired 13 batters in a row that stretched from the third inning to the seventh, before WPI put runners in scoring position. WPI sophomore Casey Arpin (Uxbridge, Mass.) dropped her first decision of 2016 (7-1) as she allowed the only run of the game on four hits over five innings. The hosts brought in classmate Kelsey Saucier (Worcester, Mass.) in relief as she went the final two frames allowing just one hit.

Both teams had excellent scoring opportunities in the very first inning, but both pitchers escaped jams as the contest remained scoreless all the way to the sixth. Joseph and classmate Amanda Lee (Saratoga, Calif.) began the first with back-to-back singles, but Arpin retired the next three batters in order to end the MIT threat. 

Much as Cambridge's Engineers did in its half of the first, WPI sophomore Nina Murphy-Cook (Roseville, Calif.) led off with a single to left followed by her 46th stolen base of the year. After classmate Ama Biney (Worcester, Mass.) sacrificed Murphy-Cook to third, Marshall got junior Lindsay Gurska (Revere, Mass.) to line out to second and junior Kristin Gallagher (Coventry, R.I.) to fly out to end the inning.