Graca and Biney Boost Offense as Softball Takes Two From Coast Guard

Leila Camplese

New London, CT --- Freshman Cassie Graca (Somerset, MA) was 3-for-3 with two RBI and a run scored in game one while junior Ama Biney (Worcester, MA) batted 2-for-3 with three RBI and two runs scored and classmate Kelsey Saucier (Worcester, MA) struck out eight in a complete game effort in game two as WPI took two from host Coast Guard in a NEWMAC Softball doubleheader Sunday afternoon at Nitchman Field.

The Engineers (9-7, 3-1 NEWMAC) held off the Bears (12-6, 0-4), 5-4, in the opener and claimed game two by a score of 12-2 in five innings.

Coast Guard scored four runs in the bottom of the fourth but could not overcome the early five run deficit as the Bears fell in game one to the Engineers.

Freshman Carly Hattman (Egg Harbor, NJ) went 2-for-3 with two RBI, a run scored and a stolen base. Sophomore Emily Hogan (Pittsburgh, PA) also had an RBI while junior Casey Cruzpino (Ft. Lauderdale, FL) and freshmen Courtney McKenna (Sparta, NJ) and Audrey Bartz (Arlington, VA) each had a run scored. Sophomore Julia Ferris (Falls Church, VA) (5-3) pitched her seventh complete game of the season allowing four earned runs on nine hits and struck out two.

Biney was 1-for-3 with two RBI while fellow junior Nina Murphy-Cook (Roseville. CA) was 2-for-4 with two runs scored and a stolen base. Freshman Mackenzie Phillips (Gill, MA) (3-3) took the win pitching four innings, allowing three earned runs on five hits and striking out two. Junior Casey Arpin (Uxbridge, MA) earned her first save of the season allowing no runs on two hits over the final three innings of the game.

The Engineers got the scoring started in the top of the first when Murphy-Cook singled to third to start the game and then stole second and advanced to third on a passed ball. Biney came up second and hit a sacrifice fly to right field scoring Murphy-Cook.

After Graca bunted to get on and a strike out, junior Natalie Fabrizio (Hampstead, NH) then lined a shot to center that went off the centerfielder's glove. Graca came all the way around from first to score on the error, giving WPI a 2-0 advantage.

The Engineers would increase their lead in the top of the second inning as Biney once again came through with an RBI as she knocked a single to center field, scoring junior Katie Chagami (Waipahu, HI) from second.

Graca then also singled to center field plating both Murphy-Cook and Biney giving WPI a 5-0 lead in an inning and a half.

The bats came alive for the Bears in the bottom of the fourth as McKenna, Bartz and Cruzpino each singled to load the bases to start the inning. Hogan then hit a sacrifice fly into foul territory down the right field line scoring McKenna.

Right after Hogan's sacrifice fly Hattman then singled through the right side scoring both Cruzpino and Bartz making the score 5-3.

Hattman then finished off the scoring in the bottom of the fourth as she advanced to third on an error by the pitcher and then came across to score on a wild pitch moving the Bears within one.

Coast Guard however could not muster the tying run in the final three innings as WPI hung on for the win.

The Engineers used seven runs in the second innings to jump out to a nine run lead on their way to a 12-2 victory over the Bears in game two.

McKenna went 2-for-3 with an RBI while Cruzpino also had an RBI going 1-for-3. Freshman Kayla Sowers (Rocklin, CA) and sophomore Kelli Franza (Rosetto, PA) each had a run scored. Freshman Kylie Vaverek (Plantation, FL) (3-1) took her first loss of the season pitching one inning allowing two earned runs on five hits and walking one. Sophomore Mackenzie Everett (Palmer, AK) and Ferris combined to pitch the final four innings allowing three earned runs on seven hits and striking out one.

Biney had a game high three RBI's going 2-for-3 with a home run and two runs scored. Junior RiAnna May (Westminster, CO) was 2-for-2 with WPI's other home run, an RBI and a run scored. Graca, sophomore Kylie Juarez (Elk Grove, CA), sophomore Renee LeClaire (Merrimack, NH), freshman Leila Camplese (Tewksbury, MA) and freshman Erica Friel (Webster, NY) each had an RBI as well. Saucier (3-4) pitched her first complete game of the year allowing one earned run on six hits and struck out eight.

After the Engineers took a 3-1 lead after the first inning, WPI took control in the second inning with seven runs on four hits. Biney highlighted the inning for the Engineers with three RBI's including a two run home run down the left field line.

WPI scored one more run in the top of the third and the fifth while Coast Guard plated one in the bottom of the fifth as the Engineers wrapped up the 12-2 win.

The Engineers travel to Springfield tomorrow for a rescheduled NEWMAC set beginning at 3pm. The Bears are back in action on Wednesday, April 5th, when they travel to Wellesley for their third NEWMAC doubleheader of the season. First pitch will be 2:30.

Major Portions of Release Courtesy Coast Guard Sports Information