Lyons run win streak to 11-straight, tied for sixth best all-time
NORTON, Mass. – The Wheaton softball team extended its win streak to 11 games with a doubleheader sweep over WPI on Saturday afternoon at Clark Field, emerging on top 7-2 and then 5-2 in the first NEWMAC conference games played by any team so far in 2014.
Lyons second baseman Erin Deneen (Framingham, Mass./Lincoln-Sudbury) went 5-for-7 with a pair of doubles and four runs scored as Wheaton reach double-digit hits in both contests. The doubleheader was played at Wheaton with the Engineers as the home team due to unplayable field conditions in Central Mass. It was the first game in New England this season for WPI (7-5, 0-2), while the Lyons swept Lesley in a pair of home games on Friday.
Wheaton (13-1, 2-0) had go-ahead third innings in both games, scoring three runs to rebound from an early 2-1 deficit in the opener and then breaking a 1-1 tie with a four-run fourth inning in the second game. Deneen had hits during both of the decisive rallies.
Lyons hurler Allison Baker (Orange, Conn./Amity Regional) improved to 7-0 in the opener, allowing one earned run over five innings. WPI's Clare Doolin (Newton, Mass.) also went five frames in the loss. Noelle Christmas (Plymouth, Mass./Plymouth South) went four innings for the win in the second game, while Emily Berardi (Boston, Mass./Boston Latin) picked up a three-inning save, her first of the season. Doolin tossed 3-⅔ scoreless innings in the second game for WPI.
Both teams scored a lone run in the second inning of the opener to make it 1-1 through two frames. Mary DeMoura (Boston, Mass./Boston Latin) brought Deneen around with a single to left for Wheaton, but WPI responded, as Nicole McDonough (Abington, Mass.) took advantage of an error to come home.
The Crimson and Gray led, 2-1, through three innings as Kristin Gallagher (Coventry, R.I.) tagged up from third base to score on a McDonough sacrifice fly.
It was a short-lived lead, however, as the Lyons went up, 4-2, on their turn to bat, getting help from Ashley Vertente (Fairhaven, Mass./Fairhaven), who smacked a two-run double to score Deneen and Berardi.
Wheaton added three more runs after that, with a Jenna Rocha (Rehoboth, Mass./Dighton-Rehoboth) solo home run to center field in the top of the fifth inning.
It was again 1-1 through two innings of the nightcap. Madeline Hatch (Acton, Mass./Acton-Boxboro) (3 for 5, 4 RBI) singled in Morgan Walsh (Norwell, Mass./Norwell) in the top half of the inning to put Wheaton briefly ahead, 1-0, but WPI's Juliana Fekete (Belgrade, Maine) (4 for 6, 2 runs) came home on a Julia Ring (Leominster, MA) ground out to level the score soon after.
The Lyons took the lead for good in the fourth as Hatch and Ashley Brillon (Attleboro, Mass./Bishop Feehan) (2 for 4) both cracked two-run doubled to space it out to 5-1.
WPI completed the scoring in the bottom half of the inning as Fekete charged across the plate on a sacrifice bunt by Ali LaRue (South Glens Falls, N.Y.).
Lauren DiFelice (Acushnet, Mass.) went 3 for 3 for the Engineers in the second game.
The Lyons are scheduled for yet another doubleheader on Sunday, playing away at Bridgewater State at 1 and 3pm. It will be softball's third doubleheader of the weekend.
WPI doesn't return to action until Wednesday, hosting non-conference opponent Amherst College in a doubleheader with games at 3 and 5pm. Wednesday will mark the Crimson and Gray's first true home games of the season.