Gallagher Walk-Off Helps Softball Finish Regular Season with Split

Kristin Gallagher

Worcester, MA --- WPI softball pulled off a comeback 6-5 win in eight innings in the front half a home doubleheader Tuesday against Amherst, but the Engineers couldn't pull the trick twice, falling 7-3 in the nightcap to suffer the program's first defeat at Rooftop Field. WPI had won its first 13 games at its new venue.

The Crimson and Gray trailed the Lord Jeffs for the first 5-1/2 innings before run-scoring hits by Ali LaRue (South Glens Falls, NY) and Nicole McDonough (Abington, MA) (2 of 4) evened things at 4-4 to send the game to extra innings.

The international tiebreaker went into effect in the eighth inning, putting Donna Leet (Seattle, WA) on second base to start the inning. Carolyn Miller (Leominster, MA) drove in Leet with two outs in to put Amherst back ahead, 5-4.

Hope Shevchuk (Burlington, CT) started the bottom of the inning on second for WPI and later scored on a Katie Bumila (Raynham, MA) ground out to pull the Boynton Hillers level, 5-5. On the next at bat, Kristin Gallagher (Coventry, RI) (2 for 5) knocked a single up the middle, bringing around LaRue for the walk-off win.

Caroline Medino (Pompton Lakes, NJ) tossed the final 4-1/3 innings for the Engineers, allowing just two hits and one unearned run to grab her 13th victory of her freshman season. Medino also pitched the first 3-1/3 innings of the nightcap. Clare Doolin (Newton, MA) helped out as well, tossing 3-2/3 innings in each game.

Amherst's Lauren Tuiskula (Leicester, MA) picked up the win for, tossing the final five innings, getting the benefit of a five-run fourth inning from the Lady Jeffs. That inning included a solo home run by Annie Apffel (Mt. View, CA) (2 for 3) and a two-run from triple by Leet who went 3 for 6 across both games with 3 runs and 3 RBIs.

Lady Jeffs second baseman Kelsey Ayers (Los Altos, CA) went 3 for 3 in the opener and 2 for 4 in the second game, scoring three times overall.

WPI pulled it back to 2-1 in the second game with an RBI single by Bumila in the bottom of the third inning that brought home LaRue.

The Engineers added their final two runs in the sixth inning. First, Lauren DiFelice (Acushnet, MA) scored as LaRue reached on an error. On the next at bat, Lindsay Gurska (Revere, MA) came in on a fielder's choice by McDonough (3 for 4). 

The Lord Jeffs' Brianna Cook (Far Hills, NJ) provided one of the highlights of the day in the opening inning of the first game, smashing a three-run homer.

Amherst finishes the year at 21-11, while WPI completed its regular season at 28-12 with the Engineers finding out on Monday if they will earn a postseason bid.

Release by Carl Setterlund - WPI Athletics Intern - Emerson '14