Softball Rallies For Sweep On Opening Day; Doolin Delivers in Game One

Caroline Medino

Winter Garden, FL --- Senior Clare Doolin (Newton, MA) spun a one-hitter in game one and sophomore RiAnna May (Westminster, CO) went 2-for-4 with the game-winning 2-RBI single the opener and was 2-for-3 with two RBI and two runs scored in game two as the WPI softball team rallied for a sweep of Emmanuel and Thiel Monday afternoon at the NTC Spring Games.

The Engineers open the season with a 2-0 record while Emmanuel moves to 2-2 and Thiel slips to 1-2.

Doolin struck out 11 and only walked two batters in the eight-inning complete game for the Engineers. Her opponent racked up 10 Ks and walked three in the complete game for the Saints.

WPI avoided trouble early while Doolin enjoyed a pair of perfect frames as WPI and Emmanuel were scoreless after seven. May provided the heroics before the first out was recorded in the top of the eighth. A miscue extended the bottom of the stanza; however Doolin had the final say by getting the strikeout to end the game.

Freshman Caraline Wood (Averill Park, NY) had a successful debut with a 3-for-4 showing at the plate. Sophomore Nina Murphy-Cook (Roseville, CA), last year's NFCA Division III Gold Shoe Award winner, swiped her first base of the season as did classmate Ama Biney (Worcester, MA), who is also a starter for the WPI women's basketball team that played in the NCAA tournament on Friday.

The Engineers offense awoke in the second game as they were down early to Thiel.

The Tomcats plated four runs in the initial inning only to have WPI get one back in the bottom of the first thanks to a Biney sacrifice fly.  Thiel added two more in the second before sophomore Natalie Fabrizio (Hampstead, NH) drove in a run on a hit to left center and Murphy-Cook chased home Fabrizio and junior Lindsay Gurska (Revere, MA) with a knock to center.

The Boynton Hillers made it a one-run ballgame courtesy of a miscue in the bottom of the third. A dropped fly ball allowed the tying run to score and Wood cleared the bases with a double to center for the 9-6 lead in the fourth. May followed with an RBI double down the left field line and Gurska send a run-producing single through the right side.

WPI tacked on two more in the fifth as Murphy-Cook scored on a dropped fly and May singled through the right side for the final Engineer RBI of the day.

Thiel looked to rally in the bottom of the seventh and came up with a pair of two-out RBI before a fly out to left ended the contest.

Murphy-Cook went 3-for-4 with two RBI and three runs scored while Wood accounted for three RBI and two runs scored. Gurska chipped in with a 3-for-4 game with an RBI and a run scored while Fabrizio was 2-for-2 with an RBI and two runs scored. Wood and May each hit a double as Murphy-Cook added two stolen bases to her total and Biney took her second of the season.

Junior Caroline Medino (Pompton Lakes, NJ) pocketed the win as she allowed three hits and struck out two in the middle three innings of the game. Sophomore Kelsey Saucier (Worcester, MA) started the game while classmate Casey Arpin (Uxbridge, MA) went the final two for the Crimson and Gray.

WPI takes on Alvernia (PA) at 9am and Penn State Behrend at 11am tomorrow. The Tomcats face Wesleyan at 5pm and the Saints face Monmouth (Ill.) and Ursinus tomorrow, also at 9 and 11.

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