Lyons bump record to 20-2 overall
NORTON, Mass. – The Wheaton College softball team, ranked No. 25 in the latest National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) Top 25 poll, split a pair of New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) games against Babson College on Saturday afternoon at Clark Field. The Beavers took the first game 4-2, while the Lyons won the nightcap by a 3-1 score.
BABSON 4, WHEATON 2
Babson senior Kathleen Conway (Simsbury, Conn./Simsbury) allowed just four hits and two earned runs over seven innings of work to improve to 6-1 on the season. Conway also tallied two walks and a game-high five strikeouts.
Wheaton senior Allison Baker (Orange, Conn./Amity Regional) shouldered her first loss of the season (9-1) on seven innings, five hits, four runs (two earned), zero walks and four punchouts.
The Beavers wasted little time getting on the scoreboard as sophomore Emily Morris (Wolcott, Conn./Wolcott) sent a two-run home run over the left-center fence for an early 2-0 advantage in the first inning.
Freshman Meaghan Merullo (Winchester, Mass./BB&N) made it 3-0 in the third with an RBI single to right field.
Wheaton responded in the sixth as senior Jenna Rocha (Rehoboth, Mass./Dighton-Rehoboth) ripped a run-producing single through the left side of the infield and freshman Morgan Walsh (Norwell, Mass./Norwell) lifted a sac fly to center to cut into the deficit at 3-2. Conway stranded the game-tying run at third and the go-ahead run at second by inducing a hard line out to left field to end the frame.
In the top of the seventh, Conway received an insurance run off the bat of senior Kelly King (Kennebunk, Maine/Kennebunk) who notched an one-out RBI single to center. Conway returned the favor in the bottom half of the frame getting three-straight outs on a strike out swinging, ground out and a pop out to short.
WHEATON 3, BABSON 1
Junior Noelle Christmas (Plymouth, Mass./Plymouth South) aided the Lyons to a split on the afternoon tossing all seven innings in the circle alongside four hits, one run (earned), two walks and a season-high seven strikeouts.
Babson junior Meghan Hayes (Robbinsville, N.J./Hun School of Princeton) took the loss on six innings, seven hits, three runs (all earned), one free pass and three walks.
Wheaton struck for all three of its runs in the third as senior Ashley Brillon (Attleboro, Mass./Bishop Feehan) and freshman Caroline Fairbanks (Milford, Mass./Milford) smacked RBI singles to center. Sophomore Kelly Welch (Wood Dale, Ill./Fenton) capped the scoring with a sac fly to right field.
Christmas held the Beavers' offense at bay until the top of the seventh when senior Christa Shorette (Southington, Conn./Southington) belted a home run to center field to lead off the frame. After the home run, Christmas settled into a groove recording three-straight outs including two pop ups to seal the win.
Wheaton (20-2, 5-1 NEWMAC) travels to UMass Boston on Tuesday, April 1 at 3 p.m. Babson (10-5, 2-2 NEWMAC), who snapped the Lyons' 17-game winning streak with a 4-2 win in game one, heads to Tufts University next Tuesday at 3 p.m.