Diaz and Salvalzo Lead Softball Past No.13 Tufts and Williams in Patriot's Day Double Dip

Alicia Salvalzo - WPI Softball 2022

Williamstown, MA --- The WPI softball team reeled in two wins over No. 13 Tufts and Williams on Monday afternoon. The Engineers defeated the Jumbos 4-2 in the first contest of the day before recording two late runs in the nightcap to put away host Williams, 6-3.

Williams defeated Tufts 1-0 in the middle match-up of a tripleheader that was four years in the making as it was cancelled in 2019 because of weather, the pandemic in 2020 and the fact that the NEWMAC and NESCAC played only conference opponents during the 2021 regular season. 

The Engineers are now 20-12 on the season while Tufts slips to 20-9 and Williams moves to 15-11.

GAME ONE 

In the opener, the Engineers jumped out to a 2-0 in the bottom of the first when Sydney Russell (Arlington, VA) and Alex Sheehan (Marian, MA) opened the game with back-to-back infield hits and were driven home by a two-out, two-run single by Jocelyn Diaz (Reedley, CA) to right field.  After the Jumbos pulled one back in the top of the second inning on a Josie Steinberg (Larchmont, NY) leadoff homer, WPI struck for two more in the bottom of the third with a sacrifice fly by Diaz and a RBI single of the bat of Kelly Pritchard (Orange, CT). 

From that point forward, WPI pitcher Kelly Martin (Bedford, MA) took over, allowing just one unearned run over the final four frames, including working out of a bases loaded jam in the fifth and seeing Tufts get the first two runners on in the top of the seventh.  The graduate student punched out eight and allowed just five hits and walk while upping her record to 12-4 on the season.  Sky Johnson (Pismo Beach, CA) shouldered the loss complete game loss for the Jumbos, dropping to 11-4. 

Russell was the lone hitter on either team with two hits and joined Tufts Emma Jacobson (Washington, DC) with a double in the contest.  Lindsay Ambrosino (Chelmsford, MA) swiped two of WPI's three stolen bases in the opener. 

GAME TWO

The opening inning of the nightcap featured a Russell walk and a throwing error allowing Sheehan to reach first leading to a two-RBI single by Alicia Salvalzo (Hudson, NH) before Ambrosino singled to bring her in for a 3-0 lead. 

The Ephs quickly responded with a solo homerun by Mara Kipnis (Redmond, WA) for a 3-1 score. The Engineers loaded the bases in the next inning beginning with a Russell single, Salvalzo hit by pitch, and back-to-back walks for Shaina Lazarus (Thousand Oaks, CA) and Diaz to pushed the advantage back to to three.  

Sophomore Taylor Wise (Belmont, CA), Kipnis and Ronni Ramos (Murphy, TX)  rallied a trio of hits in the bottom of the third leading to Ramos driving Wise home before Kipnis reaching home on an Engineer error to decrease the deficit to 4-3 before recording three scoreless innings. 

Ambrosino started the late rally in the top of the seventh with a single before stealing second and advancing to third on a Russell groundout. Sheehan reached first on a bunt bringing home Ambrosino. Salvalzo batted in Sheehan marking her third RBI in game tow for to put the contest out of reach at 6-3 for an Engineers road victory. 

Pritchard worked the first three innings in the circle for 3.0 innings before Sophia Togneri (Hudson, MA) and Martin (Bedford, NH) tapped in for two innings apiece combining to yield just two hits and register three strikeouts. 

WPI turns its attention back to NEWMAC play, playing doubleheaders at Smith at 3pm on Friday and at Clark at noon on Saturday.