BEVERLY, MA- The Wheaton College softball team held a late lead during its second contest with Endicott College, which has qualified for the past seven NCAA Tournaments, before falling in the bottom of the seventh, 6-5 after suffering a six-inning, 10-2 setback in the opener on Wednesday. The Lyons slipped to 13-13, while the Gulls are now 12-10.
Junior Kristen Hunt (Milford, CT/Jonathan Law) had half of Wheaton's hits in the opener, going 2-for-3 with a double. Sophomores Emily O'Connell (Kennebunk, ME/Kennebunk) and Valerie Tratner (Forest Hills, NY/Saint Francis Prep) each drew two of their team's eight walks, and classmate Lesley Warn (Portland, ME/Deering) took the loss.
Endicott junior Ashley Wright (Merrimack, NH/Trinity) was 3-for-4 with two runs and two RBI, while classmate Jenna Bortolotti (Milton, MA/Milton) yielded one earned run during the victory.
Hunt scored on an error during the first inning, but the Gulls plated three runs in the home half. After another Endicott run came around in the second, Lyon junior Katy Salka's (Ayer, MA/Ayer) fifth-inning RBI double plated O'Connell to bring the visitors within 4-2. However, the Gulls pulled away with six combined runs during the fifth and sixth innings on six hits and an error.
Salka was 2-for-4 with two runs and a home run during game two, junior Rachel Merrick (Methuen, MA/Central Catholic) finished 2-for-4 with two RBI, and classmates Nicole DeRosa (Greenwich, CT/Greenwich Academy) and Marissa Hobocan (Shelton, CT/Saint Joseph) added two knocks apiece. The Lyons rapped out 13 hits, while Merrick suffered the loss in relief, yielding two runs in 2.1 frames. Warn went the first four innings, giving up four runs on five hits.
Senior Merry MacDonald (Braintree, MA/Braintree) went 3-for-4 with two runs and two RBI for the hosts, while freshman Kayla Carignan (Laconia, NH/Laconia) tossed 3.2 innings of one-hit shutout ball in relief to pick up the win.
Wheaton matched its game-one hit total during the opening inning, grabbing a 3-0 lead on four hits, as DeRosa and Merrick produced one-out RBI singles. However, MacDonald's one-out RBI single made it 3-1 in the home half, and Endicott negated Wheaton's two hits the following inning by cutting down the potential fourth run at the plate to end the frame.
Merrick got the run back for the Lyons with a run-scoring infield single in the third, but the Gulls later gunned a second visiting runner out at home, and Wheaton left the bases loaded. Endicott came back to knot the game in the bottom portion with a two-out, two-run single squaring the teams.
Salka drilled a solo home run in the fourth to put Wheaton right back on top, but another two-out hit brought around a Gull to make it 5-5 in the fifth, and a bases-loaded walk with one down in the bottom of the seventh forced in the winning run.
The Lyons finish a six-game road swing on Friday at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in a New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) twinbill at 3:00 p.m.