Norton, MA --- Fifth-seeded Wellesley College softball scored four runs in the top of the fifth inning to rally past third-seeded WPI, 4-2, in the winner-take-all championship final of the New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) Championship Tournament. The championship is the third in program history and the second consecutive for the Blue.
Wellesley improves to 22-14 on the season and earns the NEWMAC's automatic bid to the 2015 NCAA Softball Championship. WPI (31-9), who set the school and program record for wins in a season, awaits a possible NCAA or ECAC bid.
WPI powered to a 9-1 victory in five innings in game one, setting up the winner-take-all final in the double elimination tournament.
After three scoreless frames to open the contest, WPI took the first lead of the afternoon on a two-run home run from RiAnna May (Westminster, CO) in the bottom of the fourth. Kristin Gallagher (Coventry, RI) was hit by a pitch to open the inning before being replaced by pinch runner Julia Ring (Leominster, MA). Katie Bumila (Raynham, MA) flied out to right for the inning's first out before May launched a two-run shot over the right field fence to make the score 2-0.
Wellesley mounted the eventual game winning rally in the top of the fifth, scoring four runs on four hits to take a 4-2 lead. Kendra Coleman (Scottsdale, AZ) worked a one out walk, advancing to second on a single from Abby Casey (Milford, CT). Manning dropped down a bunt single to third base, as the Blue loaded the bases for Carly Bresee (Rancho Santa Margarita, CA). The Blue junior then ripped a two- run RBI double to centerfield, scoring Casey and Kendra Coleman to tie the game at 2-2.
Jaclyn Tsang (Manalapan, NJ) followed, reaching on a fielder's choice when Manning was cut down at the plate. With two outs, senior Maria LaBouyer (Yuba City, CA) put the Blue ahead with a double to left centerfield, scoring Tsang and Bresee.
Wellesley starter Julia Warner (Kenmore, WA) yielded only one hit over the final three innings, working her way around an error in the bottom of the fifth, to improve to 9-6. Warner only allowed five hits in the complete game victory. WPI's Kelsey Saucier (Worcester, MA) went 4.1 innings for the Engineers, dropping to 8-3 on the season.
In the first game, Saucier went the distance in the circle and broke a scoreless contest in the top of the third with her fourth home run of the season, as WPI took a 9-1 victory. The Engineers kept the pressure on in the opener, following singles by Jacquelyne DiTroia (Andover, MA) and Nina Murphy-Cook (Roseville, CA) and a line out, pushing their advantage to 4-0 in the third inning with a three-run blast to right by Gallagher.
Tournament Most Outstanding player Ashtyn Coleman (Scottsdale, AZ) dented the scoring column for the Blue with a solo shot to left field. It was the sophomore's first home run of the year. However, WPI broke out the bats again in the fifth, posting five runs to end the game via the mercy rule.
Ditroia opened the inning with a double to right, eventually scoring on a perfectly executed squeeze bunt by Gallagher that ended up being a single. WPI tacked on additional runs on a May RBI single and a Hope Shevchuk (Burlington, CT) sacrifice fly before Lindsay Gurska (Revere, MA) ended the contest with a two-run walk-off single.
Release Courtesy Wellesley College Sports Information