Game #1 - WPI 3, Clark 2 (8 Innings)
Game #2 - Clark 3, WPI 1
Worcester, MA --- WPI rallied from one-run deficits in the sixth and eighth innings and used a Meg Foley (Belchertown, MA) RBI grounder in the ninth to defeat visiting Clark 3-2 in the opener of a key NEWMAC softball doubleheader on Sunday afternoon. The Cougars rallied themselves to post a 3-1 win in game two to salvage the split. With the results, WPI moves to 13-14 on the season and 4-8 in conference action while Clark is now 19-9 overall and 7-5 in NEWMAC play.
Clark opened the scoring in game one with back-to-back two-out first inning doubles by Melissa Traft (Milton, MA) and Darcey Kurashige-Elliott (Berkley, CA). The Cougars still led 1-0 until WPI’s Kelly Johnson (Buxton, ME) smacked a solo homer in the bottom of the sixth inning.
After a scoreless seventh inning, the game went to extra innings where the international tie-breaker was used. In the eighth inning Clark’s Joanna Clark (Windham, ME) moved to third on a ground out and scored on a Lauren Blake (Oakland, ME) single through the left side. WPI answered back when pinch runner Erin Saari (Brookline, NH) came plateward on a Courtney Rosales (Ipswich, MA) pinch hit RBI single through the right side.
Clark put the pressure on to start the ninth, putting runners on second and third with nobody out but WPI pitcher Allie Hardy (Leominster, MA) buckled down and retired the side without damage on a pair of grounders sandwiched around a line out. Johnson started the bottom of the ninth on second base for the Engineers, moved to third on a wild pitch and scored the winning run on Foley’s grounder to second base.
Hardy improved to 5-4 on the season, scattering six hits, striking out six and allowing just one earned run. Sarah Carter (Worcester, MA) was the tough-luck loser for the Cougars. The junior (10-3) yielded just three hits and fanned three on the day. Both pitchers did not walk a hitter in the tightly-contested opener.
In the nightcap, WPI jumped out to the early lead when Rosales plated Kim Martilla (Kings Park, NY) with an RBI single. Clark leveled the score with a Meghan Lennon (Charlton, MA) run-scoring single in the fifth and went ahead in the sixth on back-to-back RBI singles by Chelsea Proulx (Franklin, NH) and Erin Murphy (Boxboro, MA).
Pitcher Nicole Meuse (Hudson, MA) then retired the side in the last two frames to secure the victory. The freshmen upped her record to 7-3 with the complete game victory, striking out eight and not allowing an earned run. Erin Flaherty (Stoughton, MA) was tagged with the loss despite pitching well. The righthander slipped to 5-7 on the year.
WPI is back in action on Monday, heading to MCLA for a 3:30pm doubleheader. Clark returns home for a twinbill on Tuesday with Amherst. First pitch is slated for 3:30pm.