Softball Wins Game One Late, Scores Early and Often in Game Two at Smith

Erica Friel

Northampton, MA --- Freshman Mackenzie Phillips (Gill, MA) pitched a two-hit shutout and junior Ama Biney (Worcester, MA) broke open a scoreless game with an RBI triple in the opener while sophomore Renee LeClaire (Merrimack, NH) was one of two Engineers to notch a trio of hits in game two as WPI defeated host Smith, 4-0 and 15-4 (5 inn.), Friday afternoon in a NEWMAC Softball doubleheader.

The Engineers (18-10, 9-3 NEWMAC) have now won six consecutive games, including back-to-back conference sweeps, over the span of four days. The Pioneers, meanwhile, move to 6-18 and 3-9.

Phillips and Smith senior Natalie Burchat (Shrewsbury, MA) did not issue a walk and only allowed two hits through the first five innings of the day. Senior Hope Shevchuk (Burlington, CT) began the top of the sixth with a double to third and was promptly plated by Biney. With two on, LeClaire sent a sacrifice fly to left followed by an RBI hit to left by junior RiAnna May (Westminster, CO). Biney later added a sacrifice fly in the seventh.

All seven of the Engineers hits were by different student-athletes, including doubles by sophomore Kylie Juarez (Elk Grove, CA) and Shevchuk, and a triple by Biney. Shevchuk also laid down a sacrifice bunt. Phillips yielded three hits and one walk while fanning six for her third win in four days.

Sophomores Emma Kraus (Wakefield, MA) and Tyler Feeney (Merrimac, MA) had the early hits for the Pioneers while junior Rowan Turner (Kansas City, KS) logged one in the bottom of the seventh. Senior Brittney Blokker (Seattle, WA) drew the lone walk and stole the only two bases of the game. Burchat ended up allowing seven hits and striking out one in the setback.

Biney also factored into the first run of the second game as she came home on a miscue put into play by Juarez just two batters in. LeClaire then chased Juarez home with an RBI double to right before crossing the plate on a sacrifice fly by senior Kristin Gallagher (Coventry, RI). Junior Katie Chagami (Waipahu, HI) gave the Engineers the 4-0 advantage with an infield RBI knock.

WPI exploded for 10 more in the second with either base hits, ground outs or help from the Pioneers. Freshman Erica Friel (Webster, NY) opened the third with a hit; however, the next three Boynton Hillers went down in order. Junior Natalie Fabrizio (Hampstead, NH) then pushed home the 15th run with a single to left in the fourth.

Senior Ally Snyder (Succasunna, NJ) represented the first Smith run of the afternoon when she scored on a productive ground out by freshman Stephanie Konas (Glenmont, NY) in the bottom of the fourth. After two consecutive hits to begin the home half of the fifth, Blokker went yard for the 15-4 final.

Junior Kelsey Saucier (Worcester, MA) allowed two hits and a walk to go with a pair of strikeouts in three innings. Senior Caroline Medino (Pompton Lakes, NJ) and junior Casey Arpin (Uxbridge, MA) each took an inning.

LeClaire went 3-for-4 with a double, three RBI and two runs scored and May hit 3-for-4 with a double, an RBI and two runs scored. Biney batted 3-for-5 with a double, an RBI and three runs scored while  Fabrizio (2-for-3, walk, 2 RBI, run) and Chagami (2-for-4, 2 RBI, run) also had a pair of hits. Gallagher drive in one run with an RBI walk and another with a sacrifice fly. Juarez and junior Julia Veitch (Carlisle, MA) scored two runs apiece. Senior Lindsay Gurska (Revere, MA) went 1-for-3 with an RBI and a run before handing over catching duties to freshman Leila Camplese (Tewksbury, MA). Freshman Cassie Graca (Somerset, MA) logged a single in a pinch hitting appearance.

Turner and sophomore Jessica Flohr (Foster City, CA) each faced 19 batters and threw 48 pitches. Snyder finished 2-for-2 with a walk and a run scored while Blokker added three RBI. Senior Ruth Zimmerman (Edison, NJ) was credited with a sacrifice bunt.

WPI hosts Wellesley and Smith travels to Emerson tomorrow. Both NEWMAC sets begin at noon.