Ross Earns 100th Career Win in Softball Sweep at Bridgewater State

Heather Ross - WPI Softball 2022

Bridgewater, MA --- WPI softball coach Heather Ross earned her 100th career victory on Wednesday, as the Engineers swept a non-conference doubleheader on the road at Bridgewater State. The Engineers cruised to an 11-0 five-inning win in the opener but needed eight innings to squeeze out a 3-2 victory in the nightcap. 

WPI, winners of five of its last six games, improves to 15-11 overall, while Bridgewater State falls to 12-13-1. Ross' 15 wins with the Engineers combined with her 85 at the helm of the Lesley University team to reach the century mark. 

GAME ONE

Jocelyn Diaz (Reedley, CA) banged out three hits with three RBI and Sydney Russell (Arlington, VA) added three more base knocks to lead a high-powered WPI offense in the 11-0 win. 

The Engineers did most of their damage in a huge first inning, using eight hits to score eight runs in their first at-bat of the game. The first six batters of the game singled, as Russell, Alex Sheehan (Marion, MA), Alicia Salvalzo (Hudson, NH), Shaina Lazarus (Thousand Oaks, CA), Kelly Pritchard (Orange, CT), and Diaz kept the hit parade going, en route to a 3-0 start. 

A hit by pitch and a fielder's choice made it 5-0, before singles from Stephanie Bishop (Milford, NH) and another from Russell pushed the WPI advantage to 8-0. Bridgewater State caught a runner stealing and added a pop-out for the third out of the frame, but the damage was already done. 

After a three-up, three-down bottom of the first for the Bears, WPI pushed it to 10-0. An error put Pritchard on first before Diaz belted her second homerun of the season. 

Diaz drove in the 11th run of game, her third RBI, with a single in the fourth inning. It scored Pritchard, who reached on a single earlier in the frame. 

WPI's Lazarus pitched around a single from BSU's Olivia Silva (Somerset, MA) in the bottom of the fifth to seal the 11-0 victory for the Engineers. 

WPI's Martin got the start, throwing one inning of hitless, scoreless softball, with a pair of K's. Lazarus got the win, finishing the shut-out with four innings of two-hit ball, while striking out five. 

Silva provided all of the offense for the Bears in the game, collecting two hits. In the circle, Laura Hatch (Middleboro, MA) got the loss, throwing 1.2 innings, allowing nine runs on 10 hits. McKayla Cusack (West Haven, CT) threw 3.1 innings in relief, allowing one run on four hits. 

GAME TWO

While game one was shortened due to the run rule, game two went extras with the Engineers scoring a pair in the top of the eighth and holding off a late Bears charge to earn the sweep. 

WPI struck first, using singles from Lazarus, Pritchard, and Diaz in the top of the second to take a 1-0 lead. The Engineers had two on with no outs, but Bridgewater State's Kelley Reichert (Milford, MA) entered the game and sat down the final three batters of the inning to limit the damage. 

The Bears knotted the game in the bottom of the fifth, using a pair of hits to make it 1-1. Silva notched her fourth hit of the afternoon, while Emma Healy (Plymouth, MA) singled to drive in the equalizer. 

Neither team recorded another hit until the bottom of the fifth inning when Healy laced a two-out triple to right field. However, WPI's Martin sent the game into extras with a strikeout to end the frame. 

In the top of the fifth, WPI put the pressure on with a pair of runs off of two hits and a BSU error to go up, 3-1. Diaz was placed on second to start the frame, before a hit by pitch put two on with one out. A single from Bishop loaded the bases and Russell singled up the middle, scoring two. A ground out and a flyout ended the frame, sending the game to the bottom of the eighth.

In Bridgewater State's half, a two-out single from Amelia Blake (Raynham, MA) scored Megan Sharon (East Longmeadow, MA) to make it 3-2, but Martin struck out the final batter of the game to grab the win. 

For WPI, Martin got the win in relief, her 10th of the year, throwing three innings, allowing two hits and an unearned run. Pritchard went 4.2 innings, giving up one run on five hits, while Lazarus pitched a third of an inning in relief. 

Reichert suffered the loss for the Bears, throwing seven, allowing two runs on two hits with six strikeouts. Cusack got the start, throwing one inning, allowing one run, unearned on three hits. 

Both teams jump back into conference play later this week. WPI plays two on Friday at MIT, beginning a 3pm. Bridgewater State hosts Salem State, also on Friday, for a doubleheader with a 2pm start.