Softball Completes Sweep of Simmons, Falls to Meredith (NC) at Citrus Games

Lindsay Gurska

Kissimmee, FL --- Freshman Mackenzie Phillips (Gill, MA) and junior Kelsey Saucier (Worcester, MA) combined for a two-hit shutout as WPI defeated Simmons 13-0 in five and was upended by Meredith (NC) 9-5 in a pair of non-conference softball games at the Wide World of Sports complex.

Five different Engineers, including junior RiAnna May (Westminster, CO) and freshman Leila Camplese (Tewksbury, MA), recorded a pair of hits in the opener. Junior Nina Murphy-Cook (Roseville, CA), junior Ama Biney (Worcester, MA) and Camplese each drove in a pair as the rookie crossed home plate three times in her collegiate debut. Juniors Katie Chagami (Waipahu, HI) and Natalie Fabrizio (Hampstead, NH) chipped in with a pair of runs scored and senior Lindsay Gurska (Revere, MA) smashed a triple. Chagami and senior Hope Shevchuk (Burlington, CT) were credited with sacrifice hits and classmate Kristin Gallagher (Coventry, RI) contributed with a sacrifice fly. Biney and Fabrizio each stole a base. Phillips struck out seven and walked two in the first four innings. Saucier tacked on a K in the fifth.

May delivered the first RBI of the day in the form of a two-out infield single in the top of the first. Biney sent a 2-2 single to center in the second to chase Camplese home. The first six Sharks, meanwhile, went down in order. The third inning saw Fabrizio, Chagami and Murphy-Cook (2 RBI) all single in at least one run before Gallagher delivered her sacrifice fly in the third. The Engineers piled on five more in the fourth, including a 2-RBI double by Camplese. Shevchuk helped sophomore Renee LeClaire (Merrimack, NH) score with a fielder's choice in the fifth. Saucier set the Sharks down in order to invoke the mercy rule.

Murphy-Cook, Fabrizio, Shevchuk and junior Julia Veitch (Carlisle, MA) accounted for one hit each in the second game of the day. Biney walked three times as Gurska and LeClaire each drew a pair of free passes. In a statistical oddity, Meredith had 11 hits and four walks as the Crimson and Gray had four hits and 11 walks. Veitch also scored twice. Gallagher chipped in with a sacrifice bunt and sacrifice fly. Murphy-Cook, Gurska and LeClaire all stole a base. Gurska, Shevchuk and Veitch put together a double play. Phillips (1-1) started the second game as well. She teamed with junior Casey Arpin (Uxbridge, MA) and Saucier in the circle. Each had a strikeout in the effort.

Meredith scored a run in each of the first three frames. WPI broke through in the fourth thanks to a throwing miscue. The Avenging Angels pushed two more across in the fifth. After Meredith amassed four more in the sixth, the Engineers avoided the early ending with a trio of bases-loaded free passes in the bottom of the stanza. With a walk-off in mind, Gallagher lifted a sacrifice fly to center in the seventh; however the next batter popped up to second to end the threat.

The Softball team, which was elevated to No. 11 in the NFCA Division III Top 25, takes on Franklin (IN) at 1:15pm and get another crack at No. 2 St. John Fisher at 5:45pm.