Softball Takes Two From Coast Guard; Reaches 20 Wins For Third Consecutive Campaign

Katie Chagami

WORCESTER – Senior Jacquelyne DiTroia (Andover, MA) and sophomore Katie Chagami (Waipahu, HI) combined to go 5-for-5 with three doubles and three runs scored in game one and junior Lindsay Gurska (Revere, MA) went 3-for-4 with a pair of RBI and two runs scored in game two as host WPI defeated visiting Coast Guard 11-1 (5 inn.) and 7-1 in a NEWMAC softball doubleheader Monday at Rooftop Field.

The Engineers (20-4, 9-1 NEWMAC) have now won 20 games in each of the past three seasons. This year's squad has also reached the milestone in the fewest amount of games under the watchful eye of third-year head coach Whitney Goldstein. WPI is also in the midst of a nine-game winning streak that includes four consecutive conference twinbills. Coast Guard falls to 8-20 overall and 1-9 in league play.

WPI broke a scoreless game wide open with nine runs in the bottom of the second in the initial contest. DiTroia and sophomores Ama Biney (Worcester, MA) and RiAnna May (Westminster, CO) each connected on a 2-RBI double while May scored on a miscue and Gurska chipped in with an RBI single. Chagami and DiTroia each batted 2-for-2 in the frame as DiTroia collected her third RBI of the inning with a single to right. Sophomore Julia Veitch (Carlisle, MA) also reached base twice in the outburst.

Coast Guard sophomore Casey Cruzpino (Ft. Lauderdale, FL) singled, moved to second on a wild pitch and advanced to third on a ground out to set the stage for a two-out RBI by freshman Sharayah Simco (Florence. KY) to break up the shutout in the top of the fourth. The Engineers answered with two in the bottom of the inning behind a DiTroia RBI double to left and a Biney single to short.

DiTroia finished with four RBI while Chagami was credited with a sacrifice bunt. Biney (three RBI, double) and Gurska each went 2-for-4 as Veitch added two runs scored. May (two RBI) and sophomore Kelsey Saucier (Worcester, MA) also doubled while sophomore Nina Murphy-Cook (Roseville, CA) and junior Kristin Gallagher (Coventry, RI) each stole a base for the Crimson and Gray. Senior Clare Doolin (Newton, MA) moved to 8-1 on the year following a one-run, four-hit, five-inning performance with 10 strikeouts and two walks.

Cruzpino batted 2-for-2 with a run scored for the Bears while senior Hannah Ingerson (Kirkwood, PA) and Simco had one hit apiece. Senior Sarah Sorensen (Lakewood, WA) (5-14) and sophomore Emily Dow (Topsfield, MA) shared time in the circle for the visitors.

Game two saw junior Cherokee Strickland (Valcleave, MS) lace a two-out RBI double in the top of the first to give the Bears an early lead. The advantage vanished in the home half of the first thanks to RBI singles by Gurska and May as well as a run-producing double by Gallagher, who later added a 2-RBI single in the third.

Defensively, WPI set down the nine batters after Strickland's double while Cruzpino ended the streak with a single to left in the top of the fourth. The Crimson and Gray took advantage of a miscue to plate one more in the bottom of the fourth as Murphy-Cook scampered home on a ball put into play by Biney. WPI enjoyed its third 1-2-3 frame in the fifth while each team recorded a lead off hit in the next two half innings.  Gurska then collected her second RBI of the game with a single to right in the bottom of the sixth.

Gallagher was a perfect 2-for-2 with a double, three RBI and one run scored and junior Hope Shevchuk (Burlington, CT) enjoyed a 1-for-1 day after coming in as a defensive replacement. Biney doubled to go along with a stolen base, an RBI and two runs scored while Murphy-Cook stole her team-leading 24th base of the season. Sophomore Casey Arpin (Uxbridge, MA) improved to 3-0 as she yielded one run on three hits and struck out six in the first five innings. Junior Caroline Medino (Pompton Lakes, NJ) and Saucier each worked a frame in relief.

Sophomore Emma Hvozdovich (Palm Harbor, FL) and Strickland each doubled as Cruzpino and freshman Emily Hogan (Pittsburgh, PA) singled for the Bears. Freshman Mackenzie Everett (Palmer, AK) (2-5) and Sorensen represented Coast Guard in the circle.

The Engineers step out of conference play and host crosstown rival Worcester State tomorrow beginning at 4pm while the Bears head to intrastate foe Eastern Connecticut State for a 5pm start on Wednesday.