Lyons now 9-1 overall in NEWMAC play
WORCESTER, Mass. – The Wheaton College softball team, ranked No. 21 in the latest National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) Top 25 poll, registered its fourth New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) doubleheader sweep with a pair of victories over Clark University on Saturday afternoon at O'Brien Field. The Lyons earned a 7-6 triumph in game one and also picked up a 9-1 in game two. Wheaton has now swept conference doubleheaders against WPI, Emerson, Coast Guard and Clark this season.
WHEATON 7, CLARK 6
Lyons' freshman Galen Kerr (Concord, Mass./Concord-Carlisle) notched her first career victory in relief of senior starter Allison Baker (Orange, Conn./Amity Regional) by throwing 2 2/3 innings, yielding five hits, one run (unearned) and no walks alongside one strikeout. Freshman Danielle Cimino (Cumberland, Maine/Greely) recorded her save in as many days with three strikeouts and a walk in the seventh. Baker was handed a no-decision on 3 1/3 innings, seven hits, five runs (four earned), two walks and one punchout.
Clark starter Hayley Buckheit (Camden, Maine/Camden Hills Regional) dropped to 3-5 on the season going all seven innings while allowing 13 hits, seven runs (all earned) and four walks.
Wheaton grabbed a 2-0 lead in the first as senior Jenna Rocha (Rehoboth, Mass./Dighton-Rehoboth) had an RBI single down the left field line and freshman Caroline Fairbanks (Milford, Mass./Milford) drove in a run with a single up the middle.
The Cougars answered with a run in the bottom half of the frame to cut into the deficit at 2-1 on a run-producing double by sophomore Alyssa Wright (Manchester, N.H./Manchester West).
In the third, sophomores Marissa Timoteo (Jupiter, Fla./Jupiter) and Kelly Welch (Wood Dale, Ill./Fenton) collected RBI doubles, but the hosts responded with three runs in the bottom half highlighted by a two-run single to center off the bat of senior Tatiana Chunis (Sutton, Mass./Notre Dame Academy) to even the score at 4-4.
Clark claimed its only lead of the game at 5-4 in the fourth as sophomore Corrie Derosier (Shrewsbury, Mass./Holy Name) singled home classmate Melanie Dusseault (Auburn, N.H./Pinkerton Academy) from second base.
In the fifth, the Lyons came back with three runs on three hits to jump ahead by a 7-5 margin. Welch had an RBI double to left field, while sophomore Madeline Hatch (Acton, Mass./Acton-Boxboro) lifted a sac fly to right field and senior Ashley Brillon (Attleboro, Mass./Bishop Feehan) capped the scoring with a run-producing base hit through the left side of the infield.
Wright put Clark within one run in the sixth on an RBI single to right field, but Wheaton squandered the hosts potential rally with a double play (4-3) to maintain its gap at 7-6.
In the bottom of the seventh, Cimino struck out the first hitter she faced looking, issued a walk and settled down with back-to-back punchouts to secure the victory.
WHEATON 9, CLARK 1
Junior Emily Berardi (Boston, Mass./Boston Latin) went the distance for Wheaton scattering five hits, while yielding one run (unearned), zero walks and three strikeouts.
Dusseault was handed the loss on seven innings pitched, 16 hits, nine runs (all earned), four walks, six strikeouts and two home runs.
In the first, Rocha gave the Lyons a quick three-spot on the scoreboard with her first of two home runs in game two driving in sophomore Emma Hart (Lincoln, R.I./Lincoln) and Brillon.
Junior Ashley Vertente (Fairhaven, Mass./Fairhaven) made it 4-0 in the fourth with an RBI double to right-center before Clark sophomore Rachel Kraytenberg (Londonderry, N.H./Londonderry) pushed across the Cougars' lone run of the contest with a ground out to second.
Rocha put the game away in the ensuing half inning with a solo shot to left field, her 19th round-tripper of her career. Rocha finished the doubleheader going 4-for-7 with two runs, two homers and five RBI. Brillon went 5-for-8 at the plate with two runs and RBI, while Welch hit .500 with a pair of doubles and two RBI.
Wheaton (25-3, 9-1 NEWMAC) travels to Roger Williams on Tuesday, April 8 at 3:30 p.m. Clark (6-12, 2-6 NEWMAC) hosts Bridgewater State University next Tuesday at 3 p.m.