Wheaton tallies pair of five-inning victories over NEWMAC foe MIT

CAMBRIDGE, MA- The Wheaton College softball team picked up a pair of much-needed New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) wins on Sunday, twice defeating Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in five innings, 15-1 and 15-2 at Briggs Field. Now 17-13 overall and 5-7 in the league, the Lyons are currently holding down the sixth and final playoff spot with four contests to play. The Engineers slipped to 7-17 and 3-11.

Freshman Megan Roy (North Dighton, MA/Dighton-Rehoboth Regional) roped a pair of two-run doubles in the opener, finishing 2-for-2 with four RBI and two runs. Sophomore Amanda Poplaski (North Reading, MA/North Reading) scored three runs while drawing two of Wheaton's nine walks, and junior Katy Salka (Ayer, MA/Ayer) was 2-for-4 with two runs, two RBI and a triple.

Classmate Nicole DeRosa (Greenwich, CT/Greenwich Academy) scored twice and drove in two runs, junior Rachel Merrick (Methuen, MA/Central Catholic) had two hits, sophomore Emily O'Connell (Kennebunk, ME/Kennebunk) walked twice and scored two runs, while freshman Alanna Monahan (Dorchester, MA/Southfield School) drew a pair of bases on balls after coming off the bench. Sophomore Lesley Warn (Portland, ME/Deering) did not allow an earned run while giving up two hits.

For MIT, sophomore Jessica Iacobucci (Phoenixville, PA/The Shipley School) took the loss, yielding six earned runs on four hits in 2.1 frames. The Lyons did not strike out during the five innings they batted, as the Engineers gave up 13 earned runs on 13 hits.

The hosts plated a first-inning run on a two-out miscue, but Wheaton responded with three runs the next frame and eight in the third. Roy's two-RBI double in the second gave the Lyons the lead for good before the visitors banged out five hits during the third inning, with Roy providing another two-run two-bagger. Salka added an RBI triple, while DeRosa and Poplaski each had run-scoring knocks.

Wheaton scored four more in the fifth inning on four hits and four walks. Merrick ripped an RBI double, Salka and freshman Brittany Calarese (Norwood, MA/Norwood) added RBI singles, and DeRosa contributed a sacrifice fly.

In game two, the Lyons scored four runs on no hits and four errors during the first inning and never looked back. DeRosa finished 3-for-4 with four runs and three RBI, freshman Amanda Drury (Tolland, CT/Tolland) had a pair of hits while scoring three runs, and sophomore Valerie Tratner (Forest Hills, NY/Saint Francis Prep) went 2-for-3. Roy drove in two, Salka scored twice, and Warn again did not allow an earned run during her five innings in the circle, surrendering five hits and striking out two.

Freshman Trinity Leonard (Mill Valley, CA/Saint Ignatius) took the loss, yielding nine earned runs on 11 hits. The Lyons took advantage of seven miscues and 11 wild pitches by the Engineer pitching staff.

Roy and Salka each had an RBI during the opening inning before Wheaton plated four more runs in the second, with DeRosa, Drury and Roy smacking run-scoring singles. The Lyons made it 9-0 in the fourth before allowing two unearned runs in the home half but countering with six runs in the fifth. DeRosa laced a two-run single, freshman Renee Laflam (Concord, NH/Concord) had an RBI double, and junior Marissa Hobocan (Shelton, CT/Saint Joseph) ripped a run-scoring knock up the middle.

Wheaton is back in action on Wednesday at Brandeis University for a twinbill that begins at 3:00 p.m. The Judges were ranked 21st in last week's National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) poll.

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