Regionally-Ranked Softball Splits Pair of One-Run Games at Smith

Alicia Salvalzo - WPI Softball 2022

Northampton, MA --- WPI split a road doubleheader at Smith in NEWMAC softball action on Friday afternoon. Both games were decided by just one run, as the Engineers won game one, 4-3, but Smith grabbed the nightcap by the same 4-3 score. 

WPI, which appears in the initial NCAA Division III Region II regional rankings, moves to 21-13 overall, 7-5 in conference play, while Smith goes to 9-18 overall, 5-7 in NEWMAC action. 

GAME ONE

A three-run top of the fifth inning proved to be the difference, as WPI took a tight game one, 4-3. 

Alicia Salvalzo (Hudson, NH) created a run in the first, singling up the middle and stealing second, before being driven home by an infield single from Shaina Lazarus (Thousand Oaks, CA). 

Smith plated two in the bottom of the second to go up, 2-1. A Juno Shantz (Seattle, WA) double and a Taylor Ang (San Diego, CA) single started the inning. Lucy Helms (Alameda, CA) grounded out to score Shantz, while a foul out plated Ang for a slim Pioneers advantage. 

Both teams had two hits in the fourth inning, but the game remained 2-1 Smith until three WPI runs in the top of the fifth. A Pioneer error, a Lazarus double, and a hit-by-pitch loaded the bases for Jocelyn Diaz (Reedley, CA), whose fielder's choice tied the game at 2-2. Kallie Case (Arlington, VA) then drove in another run on a single to right before Trinity Gibbs (Northbridge, MA) drove in the third run of the frame on a sacrifice fly making it 4-2 WPI. 

Smith got one back in the bottom of the sixth, as an Ang sacrifice fly scored Piper Corey (Phoenix, AZ) who led off the inning with a single. 

With WPI clinging to a one-run lead, Engineers' hurler Katie Martin (Bedford, NH) pitched around a lead-off single from Meredith Moore (Caro, MI), to seal the 4-3 victory. 

Martin got the complete-game win, allowing three runs on eight hits. Abigail Fletcher (Bethany, CT) suffered the loss, going seven, allowing four runs (two earned) on nine hits with six strikeouts. 

GAME TWO

The Pioneers rebounded for a split, scoring a pair of runs in the bottom of the sixth inning to earn a 4-3 win. 

Smith jumped out to a 2-0 advantage with solo runs in the bottom of the first and second innings. Molly Taketa (Redmond, WA) was a part of both runs, singling in the first and coming home on an Eryn Lee (Saratoga, CA) basehit, and then singling in the second driving home Lexi Balam (Lydenborough, NH). 

WPI tied the game at 2-2 with two in the top of the third inning. Gibbs singled and Lindsay Ambrosino (Chelmsford, MA) doubled to open the frame before a strikeout and a groundout had runners on second and third with two out. Salvalzo then singled to drive home both runs, making it 2-2. 

WPI took a 3-2 lead in the top of the inning, as Salvalzo led off the inning with a single and was sent home on a Diaz single to center. 

Smith answered with two in the bottom of the frame, taking a 4-3 lead. A double from CeCe Alaniz (Bakersfield, CA) led off the inning and later, an infield single from Moore put runners on first and third with one out. Taketa then got the big hit of the game, a triple to right field to plate both runs and give Smith a one-run advantage. 

In the top of the seventh, WPI loaded the bases on singles from Sydney Russell (Arlington, VA) and Lazarus and a walk to Alex Sheehan (Marion, MA). However, Smith reliever, Fletcher got the final Engineer batter to fly out to seal the win. 

Maegan Osmond (Weston, FL) got the win for Smith, going four innings, allowing two runs on four hits. Fletcher got the save, throwing two-thirds of an inning, allowing just one hit. 

Lazarus was saddled with the loss for WPI, going 4.1 innings, allowing two runs on eight hits. 

Both teams continue NEWMAC play tomorrow at noon. WPI heads to Clark, while Smith hosts MIT.