WORCESTER, MA- Wheaton College softball sophomore Lesley Warn (Portland, ME/Deering) carried a no-hitter into the sixth inning during a 2-1 victory in the opening game of a New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) doubleheader split at Clark University's O'Brien Field on Sunday. The Cougars took game two, 10-2 in six innings.
The Lyons moved to 20-16 overall and 8-8 in the league while completing their regular season slate, as the second-game loss snapped their seven-game NEWMAC winning streak that helped them recover from a 1-7 start. Clark is 23-11 and 9-7.
Wheaton will be the sixth seed in this week's league tournament, taking on either Babson College or Wellesley College on Wednesday at number-two Springfield College at 2:30 p.m. A victory would allow them to play a second game at 5:00 p.m. The remainder of the tournament will be held on Saturday and Sunday at top-seeded United States Coast Guard Academy.
In the opener, junior Katy Salka (Ayer, MA/Ayer) drilled a two-run, third-inning homer for the Lyons, and Warn spun a one-hitter, holding Clark hitless for the first 5.2 innings while striking out three and walking four during the contest. Entering the day, the Cougars were averaging 6.4 runs on 8.7 hits per game. The teams totaled five hits.
Junior Sarah Carter (Worcester, MA/Saint-Peter Marian) was the hard-luck loser for Clark, allowing two runs on four hits with three strikeouts.
Sophomore Amanda Poplaski (North Reading, MA/North Reading) doubled to lead off the third for the visitors before moving to third on a sacrifice bunt, and Salka followed by swatting her third home run of the season to center field. That proved to be the final hit Carter allowed, as 14 of the last 15 Lyon hitters were set down.
Clark put at least one runner on base in four innings but didn't break through until the sixth. After a leadoff walk, the Cougar runner scored from third on senior Darcey Kurashige-Elliott's (Berkeley, CA/Berkeley) two-out single to left, which broke both the shutout and no-hitter. However, Warn retired the final four batters of the game, including three on groundouts.
In game two, Clark scored four runs on four hits in the second inning to snap a scoreless tie and take the lead for good. Warn took the loss, yielding four runs over 1.2 frames, while junior Nicole DeRosa (Greenwich, CT/Greenwich Academy) went 2-for-3.
For the Cougars, senior Lauren Blake (Oakland, ME/Messalonskee) was 2-for-4 with three RBI, and freshman Nicole Meuse (Hudson, MA/Hudson) tossed a complete-game five-hitter, striking out four and walking a pair.