No. 21 Softball Advances to NEWMAC Final With 5-1 Win at WPI

No. 21 Softball Advances to NEWMAC Final With 5-1 Win at WPI

THE BASICS:

- Scores: No. 21 MIT 5, WPI 1

- Records: No. 21 MIT (27-8-1); WPI (29-9)

- Location: Worcester, Mass. (Rooftop Field)

- The Lead: A four run top of the sixth inning by second-seeded MIT was the difference as the Cardinal and Gray defeated top-seeded WPI, 5-1, in the winner's bracket of the 2019 New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) Championship Tournament at Rooftop Field on Friday night. 

The victory places MIT in the championship final for the second straight season and for the third time in four seasons and will need only one win tomorrow to claim the league title once again. The Engineers will await the winner of the Wellesley/WPI elimination game and play their game at 2:00 pm tomorrow afternoon.

Coming into today's game, MIT was ranked No. 21 in the latest NFCA Division III National Coaches Poll and No. 3 in the latest NCAA Division III New England Regional Rankings. WPI entered today's game sixth in the New England region.

HOW IT HAPPENED:

- WPI scored the first run of the game in the bottom of the third on an RBI single by Caraline Wood. Lindsay Ambrosino, who scored on the play, singled up the middle with one out and stole second to get into scoring position prior to Wood's hit.

- MIT immediately answered in the top of the fourth and tied the game at 1-1. Junior Michelle Wist (Cypress, Texas) led off with a single to left center, moved to second on a wild pitch, advanced to third on a groundout and scored on a sacrifice fly to left by first-year Anya Chase (Wells, Maine). 

- WPI loaded the bases with three straight one out singles in the bottom of the fifth inning, but MIT starter Ravenne Nasser (Methuen, Mass.) worked out of the jam after Madi Pickett (Santa Barbara, Calif.) threw Ambrosino out at the plate and a strikeout of pinch hitter Gabriella Cerbo that kept the score locked at 1-1.

- In the top of the sixth, MIT took its first lead of the game at 3-1. First-year Julia Chatterjee (Hinsdale, Ill.) led off with a single up the middle and Wist brought her home on a home run over the fence in left field. Wist's homer was her fourth of the season, which ties her for the lead on the team and ties the single season program record.

- With runners on second and third and two outs in the sixth, MIT extended its lead to 5-1 on a two run single up the middle by Nasser that plated Chase and Pickett. Both Chase and Pickett reached on singles and each advanced a base on a groundout by first-year Olivia Lucchese (Camarillo, Calif.) ahead of Nasser's single.

- Nasser retired the final eight batters of the game in order to secure her 16th win of the season for MIT.

INSIDE THE NUMBERS:

- Nasser (16-5) tossed seven innings, allowed seven hits, one earned run and struck out six. WPI's Mackenzie Phillips took the loss and fell to 16-4 as she lasted 5.1 inning and allowed six hits and four earned runs.

- Wist went 2-for-3, scored two runs and knocked in two RBI, while Nasser helped her own cause with a 2-for-2 day at the plate to go along with two RBI. Chatterjee, Chase, Pickett and Lucchese accounted for the remainder of MIT's hits tonight. 

- MIT improved its postseason record on Rooftop Field to 5-3 with its win tonight in Worcester.

UP NEXT:

- With the win, MIT has advanced to the finals of the 2019 NEWMAC Tournament and will play the winner of the Wellesley College/WPI game tomorrow afternoon at 2:00 pm. The Engineers will need just one win to claim their second straight NEWMAC Championship title.

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