WORCESTER – Sophomores Kelsey Saucier (Worcester, MA) and Casey Arpin (Uxbridge, MA) teamed up to deliver a shutout for top-seeded WPI as the Engineers defeated fourth-seeded Babson, 4-0, in Game 3 of the 2016 NEWMAC Softball Championship tournament Friday afternoon at Rooftop Field.
The Engineers, who are also the top-ranked team in the NCAA Division III New England regional rankings, improve to 33-6 and will face second-seeded MIT at 3pm in the winners bracket final. The Beavers, who are seventh in the regional rankings, move to 27-14 and will face sixth-seeded Springfield at 1pm. All of Saturday's games will be at Rooftop Field, including an 11am elimination game between third-seeded Wheaton and fifth-seeded Wellesley, as well as another elimination game slated for 5pm featuring the winners of the first two games of the day.
Saucier and sophomore Ali Reilly (New Canaan, CT) each allowed a hit and enjoyed a 1-2-3 inning through the first two.
Following a clean top of the third, the Crimson and Gray capitalized for a trio of unearned runs. Freshman Renee LeClaire (Merrimack, NH), who was running for sophomore Julia Veitch (Carlisle, MA), crossed home plate on a dropped fly ball put into play by sophomore Ama Biney (Worcester, MA). A single through the left side by junior Lindsay Gurska (Revere, MA) plated Biney while a hit to left center by junior Kristin Gallagher (Coventry, RI) enabled Gurska to touch home for the 3-0 lead.
Saucier and the Boynton Hiller defense retired the next six Beavers until senior Maya Lacy (East Mill Creek, UT) drew the free pass to begin the sixth. With the bases loaded, head coach Whitney Goldstein called upon Arpin, who immediately induced an inning-ending 4-3 double play.
The Engineers offense then delivered the knock out in the form of a first-pitch blast by sophomore RiAnna May (Westminster, CO). The final six batters of the game went down in order for the 4-0 final.
Saucier surrendered only two hits and walked two in 5 1/3 as she and Arpin (save) each struck out one. Freshman Caraline Wood (Averill Park, NY) was the only batter on either side to notch a pair of hits to go along with May's home run. Biney and Wood each stole a base in the effort as Biney and senior Jacquelyne DiTroia (Andover, MA) were credited with a sacrifice bunt. Wood and DiTroia combined for the crucial double play in the top of the sixth.
Freshman Josephine Mares (Houston, TX) and junior Meaghan Merullo (Winchester, MA) each logged a hit for the Beavers as Lacy and sophomore Samantha Smith (Hillsborough, NJ) both reached on a walk. Reilly yielded five hits and one earned run over five innings while senior Madison Dinaso (Ardsley, NY) needed only seven pitches to get through the remainder of the bottom of the sixth.
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Babson 5, Wellesley 2 - Courtesy Babson
First-year Ashley Tango (Reading, Mass.) had a two-run double as part of a four-run second inning to help fourth-seeded Babson College defeat fifth-seeded Wellesley College, 5-2, in game one of the New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) Tournament on Friday afternoon at Rooftop Field.
With the win, Babson is now 27-13 overall and advances to face top-seeded WPI in game three on Friday at 5:30 p.m. Wellesley drops to 16-17 on the year and will play take on either second-seeded MIT or third-seeded Wheaton in an elimination game on Saturday at 11 a.m. at WPI.
Sophomore Samantha Smith (Hillsborough, N.J.) and first-year Annie Quine (Santa Monica, Calif.) both had two hits and drove in a run, while senior Rachel Bullard (Worcester, Mass.) went 1-for-2 with an RBI and a run scored for the Beavers. First-year Josephine Mares (Houston, Texas) also scored twice in support of sophomore Ali Reilly (New Canaan, Conn.), who allowed two runs on nine hits over seven innings to move to 17-8 on the year.
Sophomore Julia Warner (Kenmore, Wash.) was 2-for-3 with an RBI double and a run scored to lead the Blue. First-year Veronica Locher (Walnut Creek, Calif.) was 1-for-3 with an RBI, while junior Ashtyn Coleman (Scottsdale, Ariz.) finished 1-for-3 with a run scored. Sophomore Madeline Bianchi (Lakeville, Minn.) went the distance in the circle giving up three earned runs on eight hits.
Mares singled and scored on a fielding error in the bottom of the first to give Babson a 1-0 lead. The Green and White sent nine batters to the plate in the second and took advantage of five hits to score four more runs. Bullard and Smith made it 3-0 with back-to-back RBI singles, and Tango followed with a two-out, two-run double down the right field line to give the Beavers a 5-0 advantage.
Wellesley got a pair of runs back in the top of the fourth as Warner doubled down the left field line to score Coleman, and Locher followed with a single to deep left, cutting the margin to 5-2. The Blue brought the potential tying run to the plate with two outs and runners on the corners in the fifth, but Reilly retired the side with a ground ball to second.