Los Angeles, CA --- The WPI softball team opened the 2022 season with a pair of victories on the West Coast, sweeping a doubleheader at Occidental College on Monday afternoon. The Engineers' offense stormed to a 17-0 win in the opener while completing the sweep with a 4-1 win in the nightcap.
The 2-0 start to the season marked the first WPI victories for first-year head coach Heather Ross.
WPI scored seven first inning runs and didn't look back, scoring in all five innings in the mercy rule game. Rookie Shaina Lazarus (Thousand Oaks, CA) and sophomore Sydney Russell (Arlington, VA) each knocked in a pair of runs during the first inning, while Lazarus added an RPI single in the second inning as the Engineers went up 8-0.
The scoring continued into the third, with the big hit in the inning coming on a triple from Lindsay Ambrosino (Chelmsford, MA), scoring Russell, Alex Sheehan (Marion, MA), and Jocelyn Diaz (Reedley, CA). Kelly Pritchard (Orange, CT) added an RBI to push the WPI advantage to 12-0 after three.
Bishop picked up an RBI in the fourth to make it 13-0, before run-scoring doubles from Lazarus, Diaz, and the aforementioned Bishop ended the game in the fifth with WPI taking it 17-0.
Pitching for WPI, Katie Martin (Bedford, NH) was stellar in her first start of the season, firing a four-hit, shutout with four strikeouts and no walks. Engineers with multi-RBI games were Lazarus, who led the bunch with four, while Ambrosino, Diaz, and Bishop all drove in three runs. Not to be outdone, leadoff hitter Russell picked up four hits.
In the loss, Occidental used three pitchers, with starter Ellery Mitchell (Redwood City, CA) saddled with the loss. Solo hits from four different players provided the only offense for the Tigers.
WPI made it 2-0 on the day with a 4-1 win in the second game. Russell continued her solid start with three more hits and a pair of RBI to lead the Engineers.
After two scoreless innings, WPI got on the board in the third, as Russell singled to drive in Meghan Urakawa (Chandler, AZ), while a double from Ambrosino scored Russell to make it 2-0.
WPI added two more runs in the top of the fourth, as singles from Diaz and Russell pushed the lead to 4-0.
Occidental got on the board in the bottom of the seventh on an infield single from Alexandra Olkein (Cupertino, CA). However, WPI got the final two outs to preserve the victory.
The Engineers got seven strong innings from Pritchard, who scattered eight hits with four strikeouts and one walk. Delaney Russell (Lakewood, CA) went the distance for Occidental, giving up four runs on seven hits with three strikeouts in the loss.
WPI is back in action tomorrow with a pair at La Verne. First pitch in game one is set for 6pm ET.