Softball Survives Scare by Salve Regina in NCAA Opener

Softball Survives Scare by Salve Regina in NCAA Opener

Medford, MA --- Freshman Renee LeClaire (Merrimack, NH) represented the game winning run and sophomore Kelsey Saucier (Worcester, MA) struck out six in relief as nationally-ranked WPI edged Salve Regina, 4-3 (9 inn.), in the 2016 NCAA Division III Softball Medford Regional Friday afternoon at Spicer Field.

The Engineers (36-7), who are ranked 22nd in the latest National Fastpitch Coaches Association Top 25, plays host Tufts Saturday at 11am while Salve Regina (24-17) and Becker follow in an elimination game slated for 1:30pm.

LeClaire walked to begin the home half of the ninth, moved to second on sacrifice bunt before swiping third and advancing home on a throwing miscue. Saucier struck out her 150th career batter to open the eighth. It was also head coach Whitney Goldstein's 100th win as an Engineer.

Sophomore Ama Biney (Worcester, MA) broke the stalemate in the bottom of the fifth with a 2-RBI double. She advanced to third on the throw before being promptly plated on a miscue, put into play by junior Lindsay Gurska (Revere, MA), for the 3-0 advantage.

Senior Genevieve Benoit (Swampscott, MA) drove in the first Salve Regina run with a ground out to short in the top of the sixth, The Seahawks made it a one-run game with a run-producing single up the middle by sophomore Lindsay DelGrego (Wallingford, CT). A miscue enabled the tying run to score before Saucier came in and shut the door with a swinging strikeout.

Salve Regina had the bases loaded in the top of the seventh; however, an infield pop up ended the threat.

The first three innings featured nine runners left on base, including five in scoring position. WPI junior Kristin Gallagher (Coventry, RI) was the only base runner from either team to reach third when she advanced on an infield ground out in he second. Junior Kelsey Boarman (North Dighton, MA) and the Seahawk defense ended the pattern in the bottom of the fourth thanks to a trio of infield ground outs.

Junior Lexi Soucie (North Easton, MA), sophomore Francesca Galeazzi (Lynn, MA) batted 3-for-5 and freshman Megan Guest (Meriden, CT) went 2-for-4 for the Seahawks. Boarman struck out five in a complete game effort.

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