WORCESTER, Mass. - The No. 3 seed Wheaton College softball team began day two of the 2017 New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) Championships against the No. 5 seed MIT Engineers. The Lyons defeated and eliminated the Engineers with a 6-3 final. In game two of the day, Wheaton fell to the No. 1 seed WPI Engineers, 5-1.
GAME ONE: WHEATON 6 - MIT 3
Senior Rebecca Seifert was a factor in Wheaton's six runs as the third-seeded Lyons defeated fifth-seeded MIT, 6-3, in a NEWMAC Softball Championship elimination game.
The game was knotted at 3-3 with two outs in the bottom of the fourth when Seifert laced a inside the park home run down the left field line to double the Lyons score.
Senior Ali Trueworthy put the Engineers on the board with a single up the middle in the top of the first. Wheaton broke through with an RBI knock by Seifert, who came home on a fielder's choice by senior Danielle Cimino, in the third.
The Engineers tied it up with a pair in the top of the fourth thanks to an RBI double by freshman Sierra Rosenzweig and a run-producing single by junior Jasmin Joseph.
After Wheaton took the lead, junior reliever Allison Cox received support in the form of a number of excellent plays by her fellow infielders down the stretch. MIT sophomore Ravenne Nasser, meanwhile, yielded only a walk the rest of the game, which was erased by a 5-4-3 double play in the fifth.
Seifert batted 2-for-3 with a home run, four RBI and two runs scored while senior Mary DeMoura and junior Alexis Havrilla each scored twice. Cimino (12-7) handed the ball to Cox who did not allow a hit in the final three frames for the save. Neither pitcher issued a walk.
GAME TWO: WPI 5 - WHEATON 1
Top-seeded WPI scored three unearned runs in the fifth to snap a 1-1 tie en route to the 5-1 triumph over third-seeded Wheaton in a NEWMAC Softball Championship elimination game Saturday on Rooftop Field. Freshman Mackenzie Phillips struck out a season-best 10 batters for the third time this year.
The Engineers (28-12), slotted fifth in the NCAA Regional Rankings, faces the loser of this evening's game, between second-seeded Springfield and fourth-seeded Babson, next Saturday at noon.
Junior Ama Biney and freshman Cassie Graca made it 3-1 when Graca's sacrifice bunt was misplayed. After a pitching change, sophomore Kylie Juarez sent an RBI double to center to plate junior RiAnna May. Senior Kristin Gallagher added an insurance run in the sixth thanks to an error on a ball Biney put into play.
Biney represented the Engineers initial run in the bottom of the first when she scored on a miscue put into action by Graca. Wheaton grabbed the run back in the top of the second courtesy of a two-out shot by sophomore Emily Schlapak.
Phillips and Wheaton's Cox then traded zeroes on the scoreboard until the fateful fifth.
Six different Engineers notched a hit in the contest, including a double by Juarez. Biney walked twice, stole two bases and scored twice. Graca, sophomore Renee LeClaire and senior Hope Shevchuk each logged a sacrifice hit. Defensively, junior Katie Chagami and Shevchuk teamed for a double play. Phillips (12-5) finished with one run on four hits and a walk.
DeMoura accounted for half of Wheaton's hits while Schlapak homered and walked. Cox yielded four runs – all unearned – on four hits and three walks with five strikeouts in five innings. Sophomore Shelbi Wilson surrendered an unearned run on two hits and a free pass in the sixth.
Wheaton drops out of the NEWMAC Championships, but will compete at Tufts on Tuesday in a non-conference double-header set to begin at 3:30 p.m.
*release courtesy WPI Athletics