Lyons head into the NEWMAC Tournament as the No. 1 seed
WELLESLEY, Mass. – The Wheaton College softball team, ranked No. 18 in the latest National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) Top-25 poll, fell to Wellesley College, 7-6, in ten innings in the continuation of a suspended game from April 10 on Friday evening.
Earlier this month, Wheaton took game one of its scheduled conference doubleheader with Wellesley by an 8-0 score. The Lyons also held a 3-0 advantage through five innings of play in game two before the Blue rallied to force extra innings. The game ended up being suspended due to darkness in the top of the tenth inning with the scored tied at 6-6. Play then resumed today, exactly two weeks later, with the international tiebreaker rule in effect.
In the top of the tenth, Wellesley first-year Madeline Bianchi (Lakeville, Minn./Lakeville South) struck out the first batter she faced before Noelle Christmas (Plymouth, Mass./Plymouth South) advanced to third on a passed ball. Bianchi went on to strand the potential go-ahead run at third with back-to-back strikeouts to send the game into the bottom of the tenth.
Wellesley sophomore Kendra Coleman (Scottsdale, Ariz./Chaparral) promptly moved over senior Maria LaBouyer (Yuba City, Calif./Yuba City), who was placed at second base to start the inning via the international tiebreaker rule, with a sacrifice bunt (1-3) to put the game-winning run 90-feet away with one out in the frame.
Classmate Emilyrose Havrilla (Caldwell, N.J./Mount St. Dominic Academy) followed with a fly out to center field for the second out but a throwing error on the relay allowed LaBouyer to scamper home for the game-winning run.
Bianchi was awarded the win (11-6), while Berardi received the loss (13-2) in the continuation of the suspended game.
Wheaton originally jumped to a 4-0 advantage in the contest on April 10 thanks to a run in the fourth and three in the top of the fifth.
The Lyons then scored three runs on six hits in the fourth, with the big fly coming off the bat of Hatch, as the junior launched a two-run home run down the right field line to give Wheaton a 4-0 lead.
Wheaton also added a run earlier in the inning when junior Erin Deneen (South Yarmouth, Mass./Lincoln-Sudbury) and sophomore Mary DeMoura (Boston, Mass./Boston Latin) opened the frame with back-to-back doubles.
The Blue finally broke through in the bottom of the sixth inning, scoring their first run of the day when senior Abby Casey (Milford, Conn./Lauralton Hill) scored on a fielder's choice RBI by LaBouyer. However, the game moved to the seventh inning with Wellesley still trailing 4-1.
First-year Julia Warner (Kenomore, Wash./Bothell), who originally started the game in the circle for Wellesley, surrendered only a two-out single in the top of the seventh as the game moved to the home half of the inning with Wheaton still holding a three-run advantage.
Junior Carly Bresee (Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif./Tesoro) opened the inning with a single before she advanced to second on a passed ball. Bresee was then replaced on the base paths by Warner. Warner made her way to third on a wild pitch before Jaclyn Tsang (Manalapan, N.J./Manalapan) gave the Blue runners on the corners with one out after being hit by a pitch.
Casey then stepped to the dish and delivered a single to right field to score Warner and cut the deficit to 4-2. Sophomore Ashtyn Coleman (Scottsdale, Ariz./Chaparral) then followed with a single of her own, and moved up to second when the throw to home plate sailed high after Tsang came across for the third Wellesley run.
First-year Amanda Manning (Durham, Calif./Chico) followed with a one-out walk to load the bases for LaBouyer. An infield fly from LaBoyer set Wellesley down to its final out before K. Coleman reached first on an error by the shortstop that allowed Casey to score before Hart, backing up the play at short, cut down A. Coleman at third with a strike from center field.
With the international tiebreaker rule in place and a runner on second to open the top of the eighth, Wheaton took advantage, bringing sophomore Rebecca Seifert (Franklin, Mass./Franklin) around to score on fielder's choice RBI from Deneen after Seifert had advanced to third on a passed ball.
The Blue matched in the bottom half of the inning, when Havrilla singled to center to score K. Coleman after she had also been placed on second.
In the ninth, the teams once again matched each other run-for-run, as Wheaton plated DeMoura on an RBI single from Hatch and Wellesley brought across Anna Pisac (Snohomish, Wa./Snohomish) thanks to a run-producing double from Casey. With little separating the two sides in extra innings, the game was halted at the end of the ninth due to darkness prior to being made up today.
Wheaton (28-4, 17-1 NEWMAC) will be the No. 1 seed in the upcoming New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) Tournament on Tuesday, April 28. Wellesley (17-12, 10-8 NEWMAC) will be the No. 5 seed in the NEWMAC Tournament.