Pitching Carries Softball to Twinbill Sweep of Visiting Smith

Sarah Johnson

Game #1 - WPI 2, Smith 0
Game #2 - WPI 8, Smith 0 (6 inn.)

Game #1 Box Score
Game #2 Box Score

Worcester, MA --- Sophomore starting pitcher Allie Hardy (West Townsend, MA) spun four shutout frames, allowing just one hit while striking out three, and Erin Flaherty (Stoughton, MA) followed with nine straight innings of shutout ball to lead WPI to a doubleheader sweep of visiting Smith in NEWMAC Softball action on Saturday. The Engineers posted a 2-0 opening-game victory and an 8-0 triumph in game two. The wins helped WPI improve to 10-5 and 2-2 in the NEWMAC, while Smith fell to 2-6 and 0-2 in the conference.

In game one, junior first baseman Sarah Johnson (Eastham, MA) had both Engineer RBI, as her two sac flys staked Hardy to all the run support she needed. In the WPI second, Katherine Fitton (Lebanon, CT) led off with a singled to left center, moving to second after catcher Erin Beaulieu (Bethany, CT) was hit by a pitch. After Fitton moved over to third on a fielding error, Johnson drove her in with her fly ball to center for a 1-0 WPI lead. Then with one out in the fifth, Kim Martilla (Kings Park, NY) worked a walk and Allie Roche (Chelmsford, MA) doubled to left center before Johnson's second sac fly of the day chased Martilla home with the Engineers' second run.

Hardy improved to 3-2 on the year with the game one victory. Flaherty came on to pitch a scoreless final three innings to earn her second save. The Stoughton, MA native did not allow a hit and struck out two with no walks. Flaherty also toed the rubber in the late game, pitching all six innings en route to her fourth win of the season (4-2) as the Engineers posted the 8-0 game two win. The sophomore hurler allowed only two base hits and no walks while striking out three.

The Engineers struck for three runs in the first in game two en route to the win. WPI plated an unearned run to take a 1-0 lead before a two-run single off the bat of Roche drove home Beaulieu and Fitton for a 3-0 WPI advantage.

The Crimson and Gray later added three runs of insurance in the home half of the third to break the game open. Meg Foley (Belchertown, MA) and Fitton led off the inning with back-to-back singles followed by a Beaulieu walk to load the bases and ignite the rally. Foley would score on a wild pitch and Beaulieu on a passed ball, sandwiching a RBI base hit from Martilla, as WPI took a 6-0 lead after three. The Engineers plated two unearned runs in the sixth to close out the scoring.

Fitton and Roche had the only WPI hits in game one. In the nightcap, Foley paced the WPI attack with a 2-for-3 game, while Martilla, Roche, Fitton, Katrina Boynton (Ballston Lake, NY) and Emily Hartzell (Brunswick, ME) added hits for the hosts.

Smith received an outstanding offensive performance from senior shortstop Megan Kiefer (Oak Park, IL), who posted a 2-for-3 line in both games in collecting all four of the Pioneers' hits on the day while also contributing three stolen bases. Pitcher Tessa Clark (Calais, ME) was strong, tossing 11 of the 12 innings in the circle for the visitors. She fanned six on the day and just three of the eight runs scored against her were earned.  

After a day off on Sunday, WPI Softball will return to action on Monday when the Engineers will face off against Fitchburg State in a home doubleheader. First pitch is scheduled for 3pm. Smith will remain in Worcester for a NEWMAC doubleheader against Clark on Sunday at 12pm.