Lyons extend program record winning streak to 22 games
PROVIDENCE, R.I. – The Wheaton College softball team, ranked No. 20 in the latest National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) Top-25 national poll, swept Rhode Island College (RIC) in a pair of non-conference games on Tuesday evening at the Dayna A. Bazar Memorial Softball Field. Wheaton took game one, 12-1, and game two, 10-0.
Wheaton 12, RIC 1 (Game One, Five Inn.)
Senior Emily Berardi (Boston, Mass./Boston Latin) yielded four hits over three shutout innings to go with one walk and three strikeouts for the win (13-1). Junior Jillian Rocha (Rehoboth, Mass./Dighton-Rehoboth) closed out the final two innings for the Lyons.
RIC sophomore Lauren Duvall (East Greenwich, R.I./East Greenwich) was tagged with the loss (2-6) on three innings of work, six hits, six runs (all earned), two free passes and a pair of strikeouts.
Tied 0-0 in the top of the third, Wheaton struck for three runs on two hits, no errors and one runner left on base. Sophomore Emily Bouthillette (Lincoln, R.I./Lincoln) knocked in the game's first run with a sacrifice fly to center field before classmate Caroline Fairbanks (Milford, Mass./Milford) launched a two-run home run, her fifth in as many games and ninth total, to left center to cap the scoring in the frame.
The Lyons put the game out of reach in the fourth with an eight-run effort highlighted by a leadoff solo shot by Berardi to left field. Bouthillette and Fairbanks both added two-run singles to center, respectively, while sophomore Morgan Walsh (Norwell, Mass./Norwell) ripped a run-producing base hit to left field to make it 9-0.
Junior Kelly Welch (Wood Dale, Ill./Fenton) also came around to score on an error, while classmate Erin Deneen (South Yarmouth, Mass./Lincoln-Sudbury) connected on a sacrifice fly to right field for the final run in the inning (11-0).
In the fifth, sophomore Jessica Cochrane (Walpole, Mass./Walpole) got into the RBI column for the Lyons with a sacrifice fly to center that scored junior Emma Hart (Lincoln, R.I./Lincoln). Hart led off the frame with a single, stole second and advanced to third on a base knock by classmate Sara Morrow (Woodstock, Conn./Marianapolis Prep) before scoring.
RIC broke up the shutout in the bottom of the fifth on an RBI single to right center off the bat of senior Justina Thoma (Canterbury, Conn./Woodstock).
Wheaton 10, RIC 0 (Game Two, Six Inn.)
Senior Noelle Christmas (Plymouth, Mass./Plymouth South) remained unblemished in the circle (7-0) for the Lyons allowing just two hits over five scoreless innings. Christmas did not walk a single batter and also matched her career-high in strikeouts with ten. Christmas' other ten strikeout performance came against Bridgewater State University, at home, on April 3, 2013.
First-year Allison Cox (Torrance, Calif./West Torrance) allowed one hit and induced two fly outs in the sixth. RIC's Katelyn Sykora (Waterford, Conn./Waterford) was thrown out at third (9-6-5) in an attempt to stretch a double into a triple for the second out of the frame.
Sophomore Lauren DiScuillo (East Providence, R.I./East Providence) suffered the loss on six innings pitched, 12 hits, ten runs (six earned), no walks and three punchouts.
Bouthillette gave Wheaton an early 1-0 lead in the first with an RBI single to center field and a 2-0 advantage in third on a run-producing triple to center. Berardi bumped the gap to 3-0 in the same inning with a single to center to score Bouthillette for her first of two RBI's in the nightcap.
In the fourth, Hart roped an RBI triple to right center and sophomore Rebecca Seifert (Franklin, Mass./Franklin) made it 5-0 with a single to left field to plate Hart from third.
Berardi cranked her second home run of the doubleheader in the fifth, a solo shot to left center, and Bouthillette smashed a three-run shot in the sixth after an RBI single to center by Hart earlier in the inning to round out the scoring for the Lyons.
The Blue and White entered today's doubleheader ranked second in the country in slugging percentage (.637), third in batting average (.410), eighth in on-base percentage (.450), No. 12 in home runs per game (1.03) and No. 19 in scoring (7.55). The Lyons finished today's matchup with 22 runs on 15 hits, including eight extra-base hits.
Wheaton (28-3, 17-0 NEWMAC) travels to Wellesley College on Friday, April 24 at 5 p.m. to continue a suspended game from April 10 in the top of the tenth inning tied at 6-6. RIC (6-20) hosts UMass Dartmouth in a conference doubleheader tomorrow at 4 p.m.