Phillips Strikes Out 10, LeClaire Walks Off as Softball Sets Down Wellesley

Marissa Gonzales

WORCESTER – Junior Mackenzie Phillips (Gill, MA) allowed only two hits to go with seven strikeouts and zero walks in game one and senior Renee LeClaire (Merrimack, NH) provided the walk-off single in game two as WPI swept Wellesley, 7-1 and 5-4, in a NEWMAC softball doubleheader Friday on Rooftop Field.

The Engineers (27-7, 15-1), winners of nine consecutive games, will have to wait until Monday to face No. 13 MIT (21-6-1, 14-1-1) as tomorrow's NEWMAC regular season finale has been postponed. The Blue (7-15-2, 3-10-1), who were penciled in to return to the city tomorrow for a pair with Clark, are now slated to head to Coast Guard Wednesday for a 3pm set.

Trailing 4-3 heading into the bottom of the seventh, WPI evened the game with an RBI double by sophomore Marissa Gonzales (Oakley, CA), who later scored on LeClaire's single to end the contest. Freshman Hailey McCasland (Wrentham, MA), who represented the tying run, began the inning with a double just inside the left field line.

Wellesley freshman Marisa Hensch (Carlsbad, CA) and WPI senior Caraline Wood (Averill Park, NY) traded two-run homers in the first inning. The Blue later took the 4-2 lead behind a two-out two-run home run by sophomore Gen Brittingham (Aliso Viejo, CA) in the fifth. WPI cut the deficit to one with a two-out run-producing double by Wood in the bottom of the fifth.

Wood completed the game 3-for-3 with a double and home run, and three RBI and a run scored. Gonzales batted 2-for-4 with a double, RBI and two runs scored to go with a double and a stolen base by McCasland. Phillips added three strikeouts to her total and did not issue a walk in 6 1/3. Sophomore Katie Martin (Bedford, NH) faced the final two Blue batters.

Brittingham and Hensch, who were the only Wellesley student-athletes to earn a hit in game one, were joined in multi-hit column by junior Autumn Brown (Marshfield, MA) and sophomore Alyssa Hana (La Mirada, CA). Freshman Hayley Moniz (Westfield, MA) struck out four in the complete-game effort.

Freshman Lindsay Ambrosino (Chelmsford, MA) smacked a two-run homer to center in bottom of the third for the initial lead in the opener.

Hensch broke up a perfect game, and no-hitter, with a two-out double in the fourth. Brittingham followed with an RBI triple to cut the Blue's margin in half (2-1).

Ambrosino (2-for-3, walk, home run, stolen base, 4 RBI, 3 runs) plated two more with a single in the fourth. Following a pitching change, Gonzales and LeClaire used sacrifice flies to inflate the cushion to 6-1. Wood later sent a sacrifice fly to center for the 7-1 margin in the sixth.

Gonzales (2 stolen bases) and McCasland also went 2-for-3 while freshman Abigail O'Connor (Belle Mead, NJ) enjoyed a 1-2-3 seventh in the circle.

Senior Sydney Hopper (Newcastle, WA) struck out a pair and shared pitching duties with freshman Haley McMorrow (Carlisle, MA).