Wood Grand as Offense Surges in Softball’s Sweep at Sunkissed Games

Skylar O'Connell

Plant City, FL --- Senior Caraline Wood (Averill Park, NY) batted 6-for-9 with four extra-base hits, including a grand slam, on the day while the Engineers accumulated 18 hits in the second game as WPI defeated Saint Joseph's (ME), 9-2, and Ohio Northern, 14-2 (6 inn.), Thursday at the Sunkissed Games.

The Crimson and Gray (4-4) return to the win column and to .500 on the season as the Monks slip to 2-5 and the Polar Bears are now 2-4.

Sophomore Brittany Bolster (North Kingstown, RI) came off the bench to deliver a two-run double in the opener. Junior Cassie Graca (Somerset, MA) and freshman Stephanie Bishop (Milford, NH) also recorded RBI in the victory. Freshman Jess Evans (Grafton, MA) and sophomore Nicole Kuberka (Los Angeles, CA) combined to strikeout three batters.

After Wood (3-for-4, run) delivered an RBI triple in the first, the Engineers amassed five runs in the fourth beginning with an unearned run. Graca followed with a sacrifice fly to left before two more unearned runs made it a 6-0 ballgame. The Monks used a sacrifice fly to get on the board and added an unearned run in the fifth. Bolster then doubled in a pair and later scored on an RBI single by Bishop in the sixth.

Five different Engineers registered multiple hits versus Ohio Northern. Sophomore Marissa Gonzales (Oakley, CA) led the way by going 4-for-5 with a double, a pair of RBI and three runs scored. Graca (3-for-5, double, RBI, 3 runs), Wood (3-for-5, grand slam, 2 doubles) and freshman Hailey McCasland (Wrentham, MA) collected three hits apiece, and sophomore Skylar O'Connell (North Attleboro, MA) chipped in with two. Senior Renee LeClaire (Merrimack, NH) added a pair of RBI to go with one each by O'Connell, McCasland and senior Kylie Juarez (Elk Grove, CA). Sophomore Katie Martin (Bedford, NH) allowed only one earned run on seven hits and zero walks while striking out three in her second complete game in as many days.

Gonzales and LeClaire recorded an RBI to go with an unearned run for the early 3-0 advantage. The Polar Bears answered with RBI singles for their two runs of the game in the bottom of the first. Juarez made it 4-2 with an RBI knock in the third. Wood then launched a grand slam to key a five-run fourth. O'Connell chased Bishop home with an RBI single to account for the balance of the scoring. The Engineers then put the game away with a five-run sixth inning. McCasland, Graca and Gonzales all sent run-producing singles to the outfield, and a miscue helped yield the final two runs of the day.

WPI takes on two more Ohio-based teams tomorrow beginning with Heidelberg at 12:15 and continuing with Muskingum at 2:30.