Saucier Super as Softball Sweeps No. 20 Babson

Kelsey Saucier

Babson Park, MA --- Senior co-captain Kelsey Saucier (Worcester, MA) threw a one-hitter in the opener and earned the victory in relief of game two as WPI softball went on the road and swept nationally-ranked Babson on Saturday afternoon.  The Engineers took game one of the NEWMAC doubleheader 5-1 and captured the nightcap 3-2. 

WPI, which has now matched its season-best winning streak of six and 14 of the last 16, improves to 17-5 on the season and sits atop the conference with MIT with a 7-1 mark in league play.  Babson, 20th in the most recent NFCA Top 25, dips to 12-7 overall and 3-3 in NEWMAC play. 

Senior Nina Murphy-Cook (Roseville, CA), junior Caraline Wood (Averill Park, NY), sophomore Cassie Graca (Somerset, MA) and first-year Marissa Gonzales (Oakley CA) all finished with two hits for the Engineers. Senior Katie Chagami (Waipahu, HI) doubled and drove in a pair of runs in support of  Saucier, who struck out three and walked three in a complete-game effort to improve to 7-1 on the year. 

Sophomore Tori Roche (Andover, MA) went 1-for-2 with a double, a walk and a run scored, but was one of just five Babson baserunners in game one. Senior Ali Reilly (New Canaan, CT) suffered the loss to drop to 7-2 on the year after giving up five runs on 10 hits while striking out five over six innings. 

WPI took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first as Murphy-Cook reached with a bunt single and stole second before racing home on Gonzales' single to center. The Green and White loaded the bases without the benefit of a hit, but Saucier worked out of the jam thanks to a strikeout and a fly out to keep the visitors in front. 

The Beavers finally got on the board in the last of the fifth as Roche led off with a double to right, advanced to third on a sacrifice bunt by Reilly, and then scored on a wild pitch one batter later to make it 1-1. The Engineers went back in front for good with a four-run sixth. Junior pinch hitter Kylie Juarez (Elk Grove, CA) plated the go-ahead run with a bases-loaded ground out, and Chagami followed by ripping a two-run double down the left field line to make it 4-1. 

Saucier retired the final six batters she faced to close out the victory for WPI. 

Wood was 3-for-3 with a double and an RBI, while seniors Ama Biney (Worcester, MA) and RiAnna May (Westminster, CO) also doubled for the Engineers. First-year Kaitlyn Hess (Milford, NH) got a no decision after giving up two runs in four innings, while Saucier (8-1) allowed just one hit over three shutout frames to earn the win.

Junior Ashley Tango (Reading, MA) went 2-for-3 with a double and a run scored, while sophomore Brooke Stock (Fort Lauderdale, FL) struck out eight over seven innings for the Green and White. Stock (5-4), who also went 1-for-3 at the plate, gave up three earned runs and eight hits in the loss. 

Babson took a 1-0 lead in the first as junior Josephine Mares (Houston, TX), who was hit by a pitch, raced home on an RBI groundout by classmate Annie Quine (Santa Monica, CA.). WPI answered back in the top of the second as Wood led off with a double and scored on May's two-bagger two batters later to make it 1-1. 

The Engineers went on top 2-1 in the fifth as Chagami singled with two outs and Biney followed with an RBI double to the base of the wall in left center. The Beavers responded in the bottom of the frame though, as Tango led off with a double and later scored on a bases-loaded groundout when WPI first-year catcher Skylar O'Connell (North Attleboro, MA) pulled her foot off the plate before receiving the ball. 

Babson left the bases loaded in the fifth and the Engineers made them pay in the sixth when Wood plated Gonzales with an RBI single to center for a 3-2 lead. Stock worked out of a bases loaded jam in the top of the seventh, and then singled with one out in the bottom of the frame. Saucier issued back-to-back walks to load the bases before getting a short fly out to centerfield to end the threat. 

Both teams return to the diamond for doubleheader action on Tuesday as Babson hosts Clark at 3pm, while WPI takes on Worcester State beginning at 4pm. 

Release Courtesy Babson Sports Information