MIT Softball Falls to WPI in NEWMAC Championship

MIT Softball Falls to WPI in NEWMAC Championship

THE BASICS:

- Scores:

Game One - WPI 2, No. 21 MIT 0
Game Two - WPI 5, No. 21 MIT 4

- Records: No. 21 MIT (27-10-1); WPI (32-9)

- Location: Worcester, Mass. (Rooftop Field)

- The Lead: Top-seeded WPI defeated second-seeded MIT twice on Saturday afternoon to claim the 2019 New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) Championship title. The win for WPI secures the league's automatic bid to the NCAA Division III Championship Tournament, while MIT will have to wait for its name to be called for one of 18 at-large berths on Monday, May 6 during the selection show on NCAA.com slated to begin at 1:00 pm.

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 in Game One:

- WPI scored with two outs in the bottom of the first inning after Caraline Wood singled up the. middle and Renee LeClaire brought her home on an RBI double to left center.

- WPI doubled its advantage in the bottom of the fourth and that is all the offense that game one saw. LeClaire began the frame with a single up the middle, moved to second on a wild pitch, advanced to third on a sacrifice bunt and scored on a short ground out by Kylie Juarez. 

- WPI starter Katie Martin retired the final seven batters of the game to force the if necessary championship final.

INSIDE THE NUMBERS:

- Martin picked up the win (11-2) with the complete game shutout over MIT as she scattered six hits and struck out four. Ravenne Nasser (Methuen, Mass.) took the loss (16-6) on five hits, two earned runs and a pair of strikeouts.

- Madi Pickett (Santa Barbara, Calif.) went 2-for-3 for MIT, while LeClaire paced WPI's offense with a 3-for-3 effort that included one run and an RBI.

HOW IT HAPPENED in Game Two:

- As WPI did in game one, MIT scored the first run of the contest in game two. Devon Goetz (Rockville, Md.) led off with a single to center, stole second, advanced to third on a sacrifice bunt by Julia Chatterjee (Hinsdale, Ill.) and scored on a sacrifice fly by Michelle Wist (Cypress, Texas)

- WPI immediately answered in the bottom of the first with a two run of its own on an RBI single through the left side by Wood and an RBI single to center by Juarez.

- After a one out double by Pickett in the top of the second, Phoebe Li (Morganville, N.J.) knotted the score up at 2-2 with an RBI single to left.

- MIT took the lead back, this time 3-2, in the top of the fourth. Sarah Von Ahn (West Linn, Ore.) got hit by a pitch to lead off the inning, moved to second on a sacrifice bunt and scored on a bloop single to left center by Olivia Lucchese (Camarillo, Calif.).

- Wist pushed MIT's lead to 4-2 in the top of the fifth with an RBI double down the right field line, but WPI answered in the bottom half of the inning and tied the game at 4-4 on a two run double off the fence in center and took a 5-4 lead on an RBI double by LeClaire.

- WPI brought in Mackenzie Phillips to pitch innings six and seven for Worcester's Engineers and she earned the save by retiring six of the final seven batters of the contest.

INSIDE THE NUMBERS: 

- Katie Martin, the tournament's Most Outstanding Player, improved to 11-2 as she tossed five innings, allowed five hits and four earned runs. Colleen Campbell (Snoqualmie, Wash.) took the loss on five innings, five hits and three earned runs.

- Lindsay Ambrosino and Wood both tallied two hits and scored two runs for WPI, while Wood notched a game-high three RBI in the decisive game of the tournament.

- Wist once against powered MIT's offense as she drove in two runs on a 1-for-2 day at the plate.

UP NEXT:

- WPI earned the league's automatic bid to the 2019 NCAA Division III Tournament, while MIT will await word of a probable at-large berth when selections are released on Monday at 1:00 pm on NCAA.com.

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