Seventh Inning Rally in Opener Earns Softball Friday Split with Nationally-Ranked MIT

Lindsay Ambrosino - WPI Softball 2022

Cambridge, MA --- WPI split a NEWMAC softball doubleheader on the road on Friday afternoon at MIT. The visiting Engineers rallied for a 4-2 win in game one, handing No. 24 MIT its first conference loss of the season, but the hosts took the nightcap, 9-1 in five innings. 

WPI improves to 16-12 overall, 4-4 in conference play. MIT is now 16-9 overall, 7-1 in NEWMAC action. 

GAME ONE

A huge two-out rally in the top of the seventh gave WPI a 4-2 win in the first game of the doubleheader. 

Scoreless until the bottom of the fifth inning, MIT plated a pair in the frame to go up 2-0. With one out and runners on first and third, a double steal executed by Jordan Sell (Schwenksville, PA) and Mikayla Cable (Valrico, FL) saw Cable cross the plate for the first run before a single from Rylie Spiegel (Bradenton, FL) made it a two-run advantage. 

WPI threatened in the top of the sixth, as Alex Sheehan (Marion, MA) and Alicia Salvalzo (Hudson, NH) singled and Shaina Lazarus (Thousand Oaks, CA) reached on a fielder's choice to load the bases with two outs. However, MIT pitcher Anya Chase (Wells, ME) struck out the final batter of the frame to preserve the 2-0 lead. 

In the top of the seventh, WPI put together another two-out rally, but this time came away with four runs. Lindsay Ambrosino (Chelmsford, MA) bunted for a single before Stephanie Bishop (Milford, NH) and Sydney Russell (Arlington, VA) followed with back-to-back doubles to tie the game at 2-2. Sheehan reached on an error and Russell scored the third run of the frame before a Lazarus single to center made it 4-2 WPI. 

In the bottom half of the frame, WPI's Katie Martin (Bedford, NH) sat the MIT lineup down in order to move to 11-1 on the season. She threw the complete game, allowing two runs on seven hits with nine strikeouts and no walks. 

Chase got the loss for MIT, throwing 6.2 innings, allowing four runs (two earned) on seven hits with nine strikeouts. Becca O'Connor (San Antonio, TX) didn't factor into the decision but struck out the only batter she faced. 

GAME TWO

WPI scored in the top of the first, but nine unanswered from MIT gave the hosts a 9-1 victory in five innings. 

Russell led off the game with a single and stole second before a single from Salvalzo sent her home for a 1-0 WPI lead. 

MIT wasted no time answering, putting up a five-spot in the bottom of the first. A lead-off walk to Spiegel scored on a single from Dana Bell (Bensalem, PA) to start the scoring. An RBI single from Katia Pendowski (Elk Grove Village, IL) followed, before Sell sent a ball to center, scoring two for a 4-1 advantage. MIT pushed another across the plate on an RBI groundout before WPI got out of the inning trailing 5-1. 

Neither team had more than one runner in an inning until the bottom of the fifth when MIT scored four more to end the game. Singles from Spiegel and Bell made it 6-1 before a two-run homerun from Pendowski pushed the advantage to 8-1. A single from Sell and a double from Cable put two on for O'Connor, who ended the game with an infield single, scoring Sell for the 9-1 victory. 

O'Connor got the win for MIT throwing five innings, allowing one run on three hits with seven strikeouts. 

WPI's Lazarus suffered the loss, tossing just one-third of an inning, allowing four runs on three hits. 

Both teams continue NEWMAC play tomorrow with doubleheaders beginning at noon. WPI hosts Emerson while MIT will entertain Springfield.