WORCESTER -- Lauren Meinhold (Boxboro, MA) allowed just one earned run over six innings in the opening game and hit a three-run homer in game two to help WPI to a two-game sweep of Wheaton College in New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) softball action at Rooftop Field.
WPI took the lead in the first inning of both games on Saturday, winning the first game 6-1 and the second contest by a 6-3 margin to improve to 8-4 on the season and in the conference. Wheaton drops to 4-6 overall (3-5 NEWMAC).
With the win, the Engineers clinch the #3 seed in the upcoming NEWMAC softball postseason tournament.
The two teams will run it back on Sunday afternoon (12 PM) in a non-conference doubleheader to conclude their regular season.
Game 1: WPI 6, Wheaton 1
Ambrosino knocked in a run in a two-run first for the Engineers, while Gonzales doubled in a run in the second inning to score first baseman Brittany Bolster (North Kingstown, RI). An inning later, Ambrosino doubled and scored to extend the lead to 6-0.
Meinhold improved to 3-2 on the year by striking out five batters and allowing just one earned run over six innings. Jess Evans (Grafton, MA) closed the door with a scoreless frame for WPI.
The Lyons matched WPI with ten hits, including two each from shortstop Katelyn Barton (Andover, NH) and designated player Jill Ceddia (Hopkinton, MA).
Barton scored the lone run for the Lyons, coming home in the top of the sixth on a single down the left field line by Julia McLintock (Swansea, MA).
Sarah Pritchard (Malta, NY) suffered the loss for Wheaton. She allowed five runs, but only two of them earned. In relief, Emma Candelaria (Hampton Bays, NY) gave up just one unearned run and struck out four over four and a third innings.
Game 2: WPI 6, Wheaton 3
Katie Martin (Bedford, NH) threw a complete game with ten strikeouts for her fifth victory of the season for WPI.
Meinhold drove in four runs, knocking home Gonzales with a sacrifice fly in the first inning and blasting her first home run of the year, a three-run shot to left field in the fifth to give the hosts a 6-0 lead.
Wheaton looked to get back in the game and cut the deficit in half with one swing of the bat in the sixth inning, when Lindsey Oliveira (Westport, MA) hit a bases-clearing three-run double to right center.
Martin got Riley Benedetto (Jupiter, FL) to strike out to end the threat, and set down the side in the seventh without any further damage to preserve the win.
Jocelyn Diaz (Reedley, CA) and McCasland each went 2-3 in the win. Diaz drove home Nicole Logrecco (Huntington Beach, CA) with a single in the fourth after Logrecco had plated Hess. McCasland came in to score on Meinhold's homer.
Pritchard went four and a third inning for Wheaton, allowing five earned runs on seven hits.