Fullerton, CA --- The WPI softball team was swept in a doubleheader on the road on Wednesday, playing at NAIA power Hope International. The Royals, who have made the national tournament in three of the last four seasons, improved their overall record to 13-7. WPI dips to 2-4.
WPI managed just two hits in game one, as Hope hurler Allie Puente (Fresno, CA) pitched a gem, throwing seven innings with 15 strikeouts to earn the shutout.
The game was scoreless until the bottom of the fourth when Hope dented the scoreboard on a two-run homerun from Makenna O'Toole (La Palma, CA).
Hope extended the lead to 6-0 with four runs in the bottom of the sixth. O'Toole added her third RPI of the game, while Emily Puente (Fresno, CA) and Allie Puente each had RBI doubles.
WPI had a pair of baserunners in the top of the seventh, as Kelly Pritchard (Orange, CT) singled and Shaina Lazarus (Thousand Oaks, CA) worked a walk. However, Puente struck out two of the final three batters in the inning to seal the victory.
WPI led twice in game two, but a big fifth inning for Hope allowed the Royals to finish out the sweep.
The Engineers scored in the top of the first to go up 1-0. Sydney Russell (Arlington, VA) led off the game with a single up the middle and after a pair of groundouts, stole second. Lazarus then drove her home with a single to right field.
Hope countered with a run in the bottom of the frame to tie the game at 1-1. A leadoff single came around to score on a wild pitch, before Lazarus struck out the final batter of the inning to end the threat.
After three scoreless innings, WPI went up 2-1 in the top of the fifth. The Engineers took advantage of a pair of Hope errors, as Meghan Urakawa (Chandler, AZ) reached on a miscue and later came around to score as Lindsay Ambrosino (Chelmsford, MA) reached on another error.
In the bottom of the frame, Hope piled on three runs on four hits en route to a 4-2 lead. Emily Puente drove in two runs in the inning, while Skyler Mao (Buena Park, CA) also added an RBI.
WPI had a pair of baserunners in the final two innings, but were held scoreless, as Hope closed out the victory.
Lazarus threw four innings in the start, giving up one run off of five hits, while Pritchard threw 1.2 scoreless innings in relief. Martin was saddled with the loss, throwing just one third of an inning, allowing three runs on three hits.
Hope's Olivia Candelas (Garden Grove, CA) got the win, tossing five innings allowing two runs on two hits with two strikeouts.
WPI is off until Friday when the team plays at Whittier for a doubleheader beginning at 3pm ET.