No. 18 Softball Walks Off In Eighth Inning to Win First-Ever NEWMAC Title

No. 18 Softball Walks Off In Eighth Inning to Win First-Ever NEWMAC Title

THE BASICS:

- Score: No. 18 MIT 3, Babson College 2

- Records: No. 18 MIT (33-7-1); Babson College (27-16)

- Location: Cambridge, Mass. (Briggs Field)

- The Lead: For the second-straight day the No. 18 MIT Softball team walked off with a win, but this time the win resulted in the team's first-ever New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) Championship as the Engineers defeated third-seeded Babson College, 3-2, on Sunday afternoon in Cambridge. With the victory, MIT has earned the league's automatic bid to the 2018 NCAA Division III Championship Tournament and will find out who they will be playing and where they will playing tomorrow afternoon when the bracket is revealed at 1:00 p.m. on NCAA.com.

MIT came into today's game ranked atop the NCAA Division III New England regional rankings, while Babson currently sits at No. 6 in the poll.

HOW IT HAPPENED:

- Babson scored two runs in the first inning before MIT could record an out. Samantha Smith began the game with a walk and she was brought home on an RBI triple to right by Annie Quine. In the next at-bat, Ashley Tango plated Quine on a groundout to second.

- MIT was unable to score a run until the fifth inning, but it was a big one as sophomore Michelle Wist (Cypress, Texas) launched her fourth home run of the season over the fence in left field to cut the deficit to 2-1.

- With one out in the bottom of the sixth, MIT senior Amanda Lee (Saratoga, Calif.) earned a walk and moved all the way to third on a sacrifice bunt by Sarah Von Ahn (West Linn, Ore.), who advanced to second on a throwing error by Babson pitcher Ali Reilly. Senior Katherine Shade (Glencoe, Ill.) then dropped a bloop single down the right field line, which allowed Lee to score the game-tying run. The Beavers would get out of the jam with the score tied at 2-2 with a double play.

- Both MIT and Babson had the winning run on base in the seventh inning, but in the top of the frame Wist threw out Kayla Schinik at second base and in the bottom half Reilly struck out Devon Goetz (Rockville, Md.) looking.

- Lee began the bottom of the eighth with a single to right field before she moved to second on a ground out by Shade. Madi Pickett (Santa Barbara, Calif.) then lined the ball up the middle, which plated Lee from second and gave MIT its first-ever NEWMAC title as the Engineers won by a 3-2 final.

INSIDE THE NUMBERS:

- Freshman Colleen Campbell (Snoqualmie, Wash.), who came on in relief in the second inning, earned the victory for MIT as she scattered two hits and struck out six over the final 6.2 innings to improve to 10-2. Reilly took the loss (16-6) for Babson on 7.2 innings, seven hits, three runs (two earned), two walks and five strikeouts.

- Pickett's RBI single in the bottom of the eighth marked her 26th RBI of the spring.

- MIT is one win shy of tying the program record for most wins in a single season, which was set back in 2016 when the Engineers went 34-14.

- With the championship, MIT clinched its 14th NEWMAC title this year and won five conference championships in the spring which came from softball, men's and women's tennis and men's and women's track and field.

UP NEXT:

- The Engineers will find out who they will be playing and where the will be playing in the opening round of the NCAA Division III Tournament when the bracket is revealed in the selection show on NCAA.com, while the Beavers will have to wait to see if their name is called for an at-large selection to the tournament.

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