NORTON, Mass. - Caroline Fairbanks earned the Wheaton College softball team a 6-5 win in the opening game of the Lyons New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) double-header against the Coast Guard after hitting a walk off solo homerun in the bottom of the seventh, before helping the team earn an 11-5 win over the Bears in the nightcap.
The Lyons improve to 11-7 on the season and 5-1 in the NEWMAC, while the Bears fall to 7-17 (0-6 NEWMAC).
Coast Guard jumped out to a 5-0 lead after scoring a run in the second inning and four in the top of the fifth.
Wheaton responded with five runs in the bottom half of the inning with help from homeruns by Fairbanks and Emily Bouthillette. Rebecca Seifert knocked in the first run of the inning with a sacrifice fly to left field that brought in Mary DeMoura. DeMoura led-off the inning with a bunt single.
Fairbanks followed up the sacrifice fly with a two out, homerun to right, picking up Madeline Hatch. Senior Kelly Welch reached base moments later with a single to right, before being brought in on the Bouthillette homer to center.
The Lyons won the game in the bottom of the seventh with a one out homerun over the fence in left field by Fairbanks.
Wheaton carried its offense presence into the second contest, picking up an early 2-0 lead after the first inning. The runs came on yet another Fairbanks homerun over the fence in left field. Emma Hart scored on the play after leading off with a single to short.
The Bears responded in the third with three runs to take a 3-2 advantage.
Unfazed, the Lyons answered with seven runs in the bottom half of the third. DeMoura kicked things off with an RBI single through the left side that brought in Hatch. Jessica Cochrane got in on the action with a bases loaded single up the middle that brought in DeMoura.
Welch, who came in to pinch hit, knocked in two more runs moments later with a double down the right field line. Morgan Walsh and Fairbanks scored. Rebecca Seifert cleared the bases a few batters later with a homerun to center, putting Wheaton up 9-3.
Coast Guard added two runs in the sixth on RBI singles by Hayden Short and Cherokee Strickland.
The Lyons once again had an answer, earning both runs back in the bottom half of the inning. The scoring started with a double to right center by Bouthillette that scored Rocha. Bouthillette took advantage of a ground out by Katelyn Andrade, moving to third before catching the Bear defense sleeping which allowed her to come in to score.
Allison Cox collected the win for Wheaton after pitching four complete innings.
Wheaton returns to the field on Saturday, April 9 at 12 p.m. for a NEWMAC double-header at Clark University.