Wood, LeClaire and Phillips Key Softball’s Road Split at Amherst

Nicole Kuberka

Amherst, MA --- Senior Caraline Wood (Averill Park, NY) homered to give WPI the lead and classmate Renee LeClaire (Merrimack, NH) was 3-for-3 with a double and two runs in a 6-1 victory over host Amherst in game one while the Mammoths walked off with the nightcap, 3-2, as the teams split a non-conference softball doubleheader Wednesday.

The Engineers (10-6) had extended their winning streak to five games with the opening triumph while Amherst moved to 9-3 on the year.

Junior Mackenzie Phillips (Gill, MA) allowed only one run on eight hits with seven strikeouts and zero walks in the complete-game victory in game one. Wood finished the contest 2-for-4 with a home run, an RBI and a pair of runs scored. Senior Kylie Juarez (Elk Grove, CA) and freshman Lindsay Ambrosino (Chelmsford, MA) each batted 2-for-4and combined for a trio of RBI. Sophomore Nicole Kuberka (Los Angeles, CA) also chipped in with a pair of RBI.

Senior Sammy Salustri (Pleasanton, CA) and junior Kate Kopatic (Houston, TX) each logged a pair of hits to go with a double by senior Kyra Naftel (Santa Clarita, CA). Senior Lorena Ukanwa (Morgan Hill, CA) yielded 12 hits and three walks, and struck out four in the complete game for Amherst.

Kopatic drove in the lone Mammoth run of the game with a single to center in the third inning. Ambrosino answered with a single of her own in the top of the fourth. Wood then delivered what proved to be the game-winning swing in the fifth.

With two outs in the top of the seventh, Kuberka and Juarez each drove in a pair of runs to make it 6-1. Phillips and the defense then closed out the game with a 1-2-3 inning.

Freshman Sage Innerarity (Elk Grove, CA), who went 3-for-3 with a double, began the second game with a two-out RBI single in the first. Sophomore Skylar O'Connell (North Attleboro, MA) connected on a two-run triple to give WPI the advantage with two outs in the second. Amherst later tied the game in the fifth following a two-out double down the left field line by Naftel. Sophomore Ronnie Falasco (Broomall, PA) opened the bottom of the seventh with a double to right center and stole third before scoring on the game-ending single by sophomore Alyson Plaman (Bloomington, MN).

O'Connell was the lone Boynton Hiller to notch multiple hits and RBI. LeClaire added a double as junior Cassie Graca (Somerset, MA), freshman Hailey McCasland (Wrentham, MA) and Kuberka all stole a base. Sophomore Katie Martin (Bedford, NH) struck out five in the start while freshman Abigail O'Connor (Belle Mead, NJ) shouldered the decision.

In addition to Innerarity's output, Falasco finished 2-for-3 with a pair of runs scored. Freshman Talia Bloxham (Goleta, CA) fanned four in the complete game victory for Amherst.

The Engineers head back to Western Mass. Friday for a 3pm set at Springfield while the Mammoths begin a three-game NESCAC series at Wesleyan at 5pm, also on Friday.