NORTON, Mass. - The Wheaton College softball team split its New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference double-header against the WPI Engineers Saturday afternoon at Clark Softball Field. The Lyons won the opening game 3-1 behind an all-around performance from Danielle Cimino, while dropping the second game 7-2.
GAME ONE: WHEATON 3 - WPI 1
After giving up a lead-off walk to Nina Murphy-Cook, Cimino settled into a rhythm and retired the next three batters. Wheaton carried the momentum into the bottom half of the inning with Rebecca Seifert coming around to score for the Lyons on a single through the left side by Jessica Cochrane. Seifert reached earlier in the inning on a double to center, before moving to third on an illegal pitch.
The Engineers tied the game in the second with RiAnna May coming in to score. May came home after the Lyons opted to throw home on a fielder's choice by Hope Shevchuk. After recording the out, the Lyons caught Shevchuk trying to take second, allowing enough time for May to make her way across the plate.
The two sides settled into a pitcher's duel until the fifth inning when the Lyons recaptured the lead. Like they did in the first inning, Cochrane once again knocked in Seifert, this time with a sacrifice fly to center. Seifert, who led off the inning, reached on an error by the right fielder. Wheaton tacked on an insurance run in the sixth with Lily Ongkiko scoring on a bases loaded walk to Cochrane.
Cimino, who pitched five complete innings for the Lyons, earned her second win of the season after allowing just three hits and striking out two. Cimino also finished the day 2-for-3 from the plate. Cochrane was 1-for-2 with a walk.
Natalie Fabrizio ended the game 2-for-3 for the Engineers, which included a double and a stolen base. Mackenzie Phillips collected the loss for WPI after 5.1 innings of work that saw her give up three runs on seven hits, while striking out four.
GAME TWO: WHEATON 2 - WPI 7
The second game, much like the first, began as a pitcher's duel with Allison Cox of Wheaton and Kelsey Saucier of WPI making it hard for the opposing team to put the bat on the ball. WPI managed to squeeze one across in the third with an RBI double to center from Ama Biney in the third inning that scored Cassie Graca.
The Engineers opened the flood gates in the top of the fifth, plating six runs on just two hits and a Lyon error. Renee LeClaire came around to score the first run on a double through the left side by Murphy-Cook. With the bases loaded Graca came around to score moments later on a fielder's choice, which was followed by a bases loaded walk to Natalie Fabrizio. A double to left center by Lindsay Gurska ended the scoring for the Engineers with Fabrizio, Kristin Gallagher and Biney all coming in to score.
Wheaton attempted a late inning rally, but only managed two runs. Both runs came around on a home run from Emily Schlapak. The home run, which is Schlapak's four of the season, picked up Ongkiko who reached on a single up the middle.
Cox, who earned the loss for the Lyons, gave up just three hits in 4.1 innings of work, while striking out two. Saucier picked up the win after completing 6.1 innings, striking out eight and giving up just five hits.
Wheaton returns to the Clark Softball Field on Tuesday, March 28 for a double-header against UMass.-Dartmouth. The games are set to begin at 3 p.m. and 5 p.m.