SPRINGFIELD, Mass. - Freshman Aimee Avila (North Dighton, Mass./Dighton-Rehoboth Regional) drove in three runs for the Wheaton College softball team, which suffered a pair of 4-3 losses to Springfield College in New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) action Saturday.
The Lyons move to 17-19 (9-7 NEWMAC) and will be the No. 5 seed in the NEWMAC Tournament. They begin play against No. 4 WPI Tuesday afternoon at 2:30 p.m. at Springfield College. The two wins move the Pride to 22-10 (12-2 NEWMAC) and makes them the No. 1 seed in the tournament. They will host a semifinal contest next Saturday.
Junior Breann Joyce (Trumbull, Conn./Trumbull) belted a three-run home run for the Pride in the first inning of game one to stake the Pride to an early 3-0 lead. In the fifth, Joyce drove in sophomore Ally Rivelli (North Kingstown, R.I./North Kingstown) to stretch the Springfield lead to 4-0.
Wheaton made a game of it in the seventh, putting runners on first and third with one down. Junior Renee Laflam (Concord, N.H./Concord) brought in the Lyons first run of the afternoon with a single to center. Three batters later, Avila plated senior Alanna Monahan (Dorchester, Mass./Southfield School) and junior Megan Roy (North Dighton, Mass./Dighton-Rehoboth Regional) with a single, but was stranded on second when senior Amanda Poplaski (North Reading, Mass./North Reading) grounded out to end the game.
Sophomore Ashley Brillon (Attleboro, Mass./Deering) went 2-for-3 for the Lyons, who saw sophomore Allison Baker (Orange, Conn./Amity Regional) fall to 11-11 with the loss. She allowed 11 hits and four runs with two strikeouts. Sophomore Ashley Marino (Harrison , N.Y./Harrison) improved to 12-5 with the win as she surrendered five hits and three runs (two earned) to go along with eight strikeouts.
Roy got Wheaton on the board in the first inning of game two with a sac fly that plated sophomore Jenna Rocha (Rehoboth, Mass./Dighton-Rehoboth Regional). The Pride answered with a run in their half of the frame to tie the game as senior Kasey Kelly (Poughkeepsie, N.Y./Dutchess CC) singled home sophomore Christina Leader (Yorktown Height, N.Y./Yorktown). In the fourth, Kelly tripled to right to bring in the Pride's second run and give them a 2-1 lead.
Wheaton tied the game in the seventh on an RBI double off the bat of Avila, then went ahead 3-2 in the eighth on a sac fly by Brillon. With runners on second and third and two down in the bottom of the eighth, Springfield freshman Amy Entel (Berkley, Mass./Somerset) doubled in both runners to give Springfield the sweep.
Freshman Emily Berardi (Boston, Mass./Boston Latin) worked the first 3.1 innings and allowed seven hits and two runs for Wheaton. Classmate Noelle Christmas (Plymouth, Mass./Plymouth South) took the loss, tossing the final 4.1 and allowing six hits and a pair of runs. Sophomore Jennifer Joseph (Stamford, Conn./Westhill) picked up her 10th win of the season for Springfield. She gave up seven hits and three runs (two earned) while striking out 11.
Joyce finished game one 3-for-3 with four RBI while Leader, Kelly, and junior Kelly Blake (Watertown, Conn./Watertown) each had two hits for the Pride in game two. Avila was 2-for-3 in the nightcap for the Lyons.