Fay, O'Connell help Wheaton salvage NEWMAC split at Smith

NORTHAMPTON, MA- Freshman Emily O'Connell (Kennebunk, ME/Kennebunk) smacked her first two collegiate hits while scoring the go-ahead run in the fifth inning, and classmate Mary Fay (Stoughton, MA/Cardinal Spellman) spun six shutout frames to push the Wheaton College softball team past Smith College, 6-0 on Saturday and salvage a split of a New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) twinbill.

The Pioneers took the opener, 9-0 in five innings. Wheaton is now 14-18 overall and 5-7 in the league, while Smith is 5-18 and 2-8.

In game two, Fay yielded only three hits in her six innings of work, as she didn't allow her first base runner until a 12-pitch plate appearance by the first batter in the third culminated in a walk. Smith's initial hit came by the leadoff hitter in the fourth, and Fay eventually worked out of two-on, two-out jams in the fourth and sixth innings.

Wheaton had at least one base runner in every inning, including the leadoff batter reaching during scoreless second, third and fourth frames. Senior Stacey Kelleher (Brockton, MA/Brockton) lined a double leading off the fourth but never made it to third before O'Connell sparked the Lyons in the fifth. After beginning the inning by lining her first collegiate hit into left center, she stole second, moved to third on sophomore Marissa Hobocan's (Shelton, CT/Saint Joseph) sacrifice and scored on senior Brady Benton's (Concord, NH/Concord) two-out RBI single.

The Lyons broke the game open with five runs on six hits in the seventh. Senior Lynn Cotto (Brookfield, CT/Brookfield) and sophomore Kristen Hunt (Milford, CT/Jonathan Law) each roped RBI doubles, Hobocan and Kelleher recorded run-scoring singles, and Benton added a sacrifice fly.

O'Connell finished 2-for-3 with two runs, Benton was 2-for-3 with two RBI, while Kelleher and sophomore Rachel Merrick (Methuen, MA/Central Catholic) added a pair of hits apiece. Freshman Lesley Warn (Portland, ME/Deering) worked a one-hit seventh in her first action since March 24.

Senior Emily Hiltzik (Westbury, NY/W.T. Clarke) took the loss, allowing six earned runs on 13 hits, while four Pioneers had single hits.

During the opener, Hiltzik shut the Lyons out on five hits despite Wheaton putting runners on second and third with one down in the first, and Smith put the game away with six runs on six hits in the bottom half. Two more runs came home in the second, and an unearned run was plated in the fourth.

Benton doubled for Wheaton, while junior Andrea Bagley (Foxboro, MA/Foxboro) took the loss. Fay did not allow an earned run during her 2.2 innings of three-hit work in relief.

Freshman Sarah Goodman (Pittsford, NY/Pittsford Mendon) led the Smith offense by going 2-for-3 with two runs and two RBI. Three others had two hits each.

The Lyons complete their non-conference slate by hosting Brandeis University for a 3:30 p.m. doubleheader on Tuesday. The Judges are coached by former Wheaton All-American Jessica Johnson '98, as the teams are slated for their first meeting since 1997.