NORTON, Mass. – Freshman Noelle Christmas (Plymouth, Mass./Plymouth South) tossed a complete game, four-hitter to help the Wheaton College softball team rebound from a 4-2 loss against Lesley University in game one to blank the Lynx 4-0 in the nightcap Thursday afternoon in non-conference action at Clark Field.
Sophomore Jenna Rocha (Rehoboth, Mass./Dighton-Rehoboth Regional) helped stake the Lyons to a 1-0 lead in the first inning of game two. She led off the frame with a single through the left side, advanced to second and third on wild pitches, and scored on a sac bunt by junior Megan Roy (North Dighton, Mass./Dighton-Rehoboth Regional).
Wheaton (6-8) doubled its lead in the second on an RBI single by senior Amanda Poplaski (North Reading, Mass./North Reading). In the fourth, junior Alanna Monahan (Dorchester, Mass./Southfield School) led off with a single and scored on a throwing error by the Lesley catcher to make it 3-0, and freshman Liza Acevedo (Brooklyn, N.Y./Telecommunications Arts & Tech) scored an unearned run in the sixth to cap the scoring.
Christmas did not walk a batter and struck out one to improve to 2-1 on the season. Senior Cassandra Knox (Sea Cliff, N.Y./North Shore) suffered the loss, allowing four hits and two runs with three strikeouts in two innings.
In the opener of the doubleheader, Knox put the Lynx (3-5) on top 2-0 lead with a two-run double in the second. The Lyons answered with two in the fourth to even the score. Christmas plated the first run with a single to the shortstop, and senior Valerie Tratner (Forest Hills, N.Y./Saint Francis Prep) tied the game with a double to plate Christmas.
Lesley pushed across the go-ahead run in the fifth to grab a 3-2 lead. Wheaton's centerfielder bobbled a single off the bat of junior Emily Mangiaratti (Amherst, Mass./Amherst Regional), which allowed Knox to score from second. The Lynx added an insurance run in the sixth on an RBI single by junior Molly Sarson (Sanford, Maine/Sanford).
Knox picked up the win in relief of sophomore starter Jennifer Dorvall (Franklin, N.H./Franklin). She held the Lyons to three hits over the final 3.1 innings and struck out two. Sophomore Allison Baker (Orange, Conn./Amity Regional) suffered the loss for the Lyons, allowing eight hits and four runs (three earned) over seven innings. She walked one and struck out three.
"We are getting better every day, which is exciting to see," said Lyons head coach Rachael Powers '03.
Rocha went 2-for-4 in each game for the Lyons while Tratner picked up one hit in each game. Sophomore Nicole Mercurio (Wakefield, Mass./Wakefield) recorded two hits in game one for Lesley.
The Lyons return to action on Saturday when they open New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) play with a doubleheader against Coast Guard at Clark Field. Game one begins at noon. The Lynx travel to Brandeis for a 5 p.m. contest on March 27.