Sixth seed Wheaton blanked by number-three Babson in NEWMAC opening round

SPRINGFIELD, MA- The sixth-seeded Wheaton College softball team opened New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) Tournament play with an 11-0 setback in five innings to number-three Babson College at Springfield College's Potter Field.

Falling to 20-17, Wheaton will face fourth seed Wellesley College in an elimination game on Saturday at top seed United States Coast Guard Academy at 12:00 p.m.  The Beavers improved to 22-13.

Junior Katy Salka (Ayer, MA/Ayer) doubled for Wheaton, while sophomore Amanda Poplaski (North Reading, MA/North Reading) and freshman Brittany Calarese (Norwood, MA/Norwood) had a knock apiece.  Junior Kristen Hunt (Milford, CT/Jonathan Law) drew two walks, and sophomore hurler Lesley Warn (Portland, ME/Deering) gave up six runs on six hits while walking a pair of Babson batters during 1.2 frames in the loss.

For Babson, sophomore Jessica Pashos (Winchester, MA/Winchester) belted two three-run homers, while freshman Catie Funk (Scarborough, ME/Scarborough) went 3-for-3 with three runs and a trio of RBI.  Senior Danielle Liska (Seymour, CT/Seymour) tossed three scoreless frames on one hit with three strikeouts and one walk in the victory.

Salka's two-bagger came with two down in the first before Pashos smacked her first long ball in the home half.  Babson doubled its lead in the second and tacked on five runs on five hits in the third.  Hunt led off the top of the third with a walk and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt, but the next two Lyons were retired on pop flies.

Wheaton's best scoring chance came in the fifth, as Hunt drew a one-out walk and stole second.  Two batters later, Poplaski singled to left field and advanced to second on the throw, giving the Lyons two runners in scoring position, but Babson freshman Megan Brain (Pompton Plains, NJ/Pequannock Township) induced a fly ball to right to force the mercy rule.

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