Pitching and Clutch Hitting Helps Softball Sweep Fitchburg State

Clare Doolin

Fitchburg, MA --- Pitchers Clare Doolin (Newton, MA) and Christa Coscia (Lakeville, MA) combined to allowed just two earned runs and Lauren DiFelice (Acushnet, MA) tallied three RBI as WPI swept a non-conference softball doubleheader from Fitchburg State on Wednesday afternoon.  The Engineers took game one 1-0 before registered a 6-4 victory in the nightcap. 

WPI, who was playing as the home team in Fitchburg, is now 9-21 on the season while Fitchburg State dips to 12-16. 

The Engineers scored the only run of the opener when Nicole McDonough (Abington, MA) doubled to left center to open the bottom of the sixth inning and scored two batters later on a Jacquelyne DiTroia (Andover) double to the right center gap. 

Doolin retired the side in the seventh, including the last two by strikeouts, to secure her second shutout of the year.  The freshman masterfully worked out of jams in the fifth and sixth innings that saw Falcons get runners to third base with one out.  In the fifth, WPI was able to extinguish the threat when first baseman Ali LaRue (South Glenn Falls, NY) fielded a squeeze bunt and tagged out the runner headed home and then fielded a pop up while in the sixth Doolin induced a grounder and an anotherinfield popup.  The right hander (4-11) allowed three hits, walked one and recorded six punchouts. 

Brittany Whiting (Sharon, MA) nearly matched zeros in the circle for Fitchburg.  The sophomore (5-8) yielded just three hits while walking one and striking out seven.  Allison Page (Wakefield, MA) went 2-for-3 for Fitchburg State while Tori Cyrus (Everett, MA) belted a triple. 

All three of WPI's hits in game one were doubles with DiFelice joining McDonough and DiTroia with two baggers. 

In the nightcap the Crimson and Gray dented the scoring column in the bottom of the third with a pair of unearned runs.  After the first two runners reached on errors and were advanced on a sacrifice bunt by Julianna Fekete (Belgrade, ME), DiTroia delivered with an RBI ground out and DiFelice followed with a run-producing single to shortstop. 

Fitchburg quickly countered with a run in the top of the fourth after Cyrus led off with a triple down the right field line and Amanda Whitelaw (Flemington, NJ) smacked a run-scoring double to left center. Coscia left Whitelaw stranded at third when she forced a pair of groundouts. 

The Engineers broke the game open with a four-run fourth that featured a successful RBI squeeze bunt off the bat of Andrea Boxell (Marlboro, MA) and a two-run single by DiFelice. 

Fitchburg State got back to within 6-3 in the top of the sixth when Cyrus, who had singled and White, who walked, came around to score on a dropped fly ball in the outfield.  The Falcons mounted one last rally in the seventh when Cyrus knocked home with a Marissa Binnall (Fitchburg, MA) with a double high off the left field fence but after a another single, WPI got the final out to secure the sweep. 

Cosica up her record to 5-10 with a complete game effort.  The senior allowed just two earned runs.  Fitchburg State's Kerry Alcott (Groton, MA) pitched well, with five of her six runs ending up earned.   Both pitchers had two strikeouts. 

DeFelice was 2-for-4 with the three RBI for WPI while Cyrus capped her big day finishing just a homer short of the cycle in game two. 

WPI turns its attention to its final weekend of NEWMAC play when they host Smith Friday (3pm) at Assumption and head to MIT on Saturday for a doubleheader (noon).  Sweeps of both doubleheaders could put the Engineers into the NEWMAC Tournament.  Fitchburg State is back in action Thursday with a 3pm doubleheader at Curry.