Hot-Hitting Softball Sweeps Clark in NEWMAC Doubleheader 9-2 and 10-5

Sydney Russell - WPI Softball 2022

WORCESTER -- The WPI softball team's bats came alive in a doubleheader sweep at Clark on Saturday. The Engineers belted 27 hits between the two games, taking the opener, 9-2, before winning the nightcap, 10-5. The wins improve WPI to 23-13 overall, 9-5 in NEWMAC play. Clark falls to 5-15, 1-13 in the conference. 

GAME ONE

Four hits from Sydney Russell (Arlington, VA) and 11 strikeouts from Katie Martin (Bedford, NH) sparked the Engineers to a 9-2 victory in the first game. 

Both teams scored in a busy first inning. In the WPI half, Russell singled and stole a pair of bases, scoring on an Alicia Salvalzo (Hudson, NH) sacrifice fly. Singles from Shaina Lazarus (Thousand Oaks, CA) and Jocelyn Diaz (Reedley, CA) also drove in runs, as the Engineers led 3-0. 

In the bottom of the frame, Eliza Lindberg (East Chatham, NY) singled and Rebecca Mauro (Easton, CT) walked before both were driven home on a base knock from Kaylee Gibson (Northfield, MA) making it 3-2. 

WPI continued its hot hitting in the top of the second, adding another run on a single from Russell and a pair of Clark errors to push the lead to 4-2. 

The Engineers blew the game open in the top of the fourth, plating four runs for an 8-2 advantage. Lindsay Ambrosino (Chelmsford, MA) doubled and was sent home on an infield single from Russell. A wild pitch plated the second run of the inning before a failed pickoff attempt scored the third. Kallie Case (Arlington, VA) singled in the final run of the frame, putting WPI up by six. 

The Crimson and Gray added an insurance run in the top of the seventh, pushing the lead to 9-2. A sacrifice bunt from Alex Sheehan (Marion, MA) scored Trinity Gibbs (Northbridge, MA), who led off the inning with a double. 

Martin then struck out two of the final three batters of the game to earn the win, her 14th of the season. She went seven, allowing two runs on six hits with a season-high 11 strikeouts. 

Clark's Jessica Sardilli (Farmington, CT) got the loss, throwing 3.2 innings, allowing seven earned runs on eight hits. Gibson came on in relief to throw 3.1 innings, allowing one run on five hits. 

GAME TWO

WPI's bats stayed hot in game two, as the Engineers belted 14 hits en route to a 10-2 victory and a doubleheader sweep. Four Engineers tallied three hits in the game -- Russell, Sheehan, Lazarus, and Diaz. 

A lead-off walk from Russell came around to score on a Kelly Pritchard (Orange, CT) sacrifice fly in the top of the first, as WPI opened the scoring. 

The Engineers sent two across the plate in the top of the third, pushing the lead to 3-0. Sheehan opened the inning with a bunt, while Lazarus added a single. A Pritchard double then plated Sheehan before Lazarus scored on a Diaz single. 

WPI made it 4-0 in the top of the fifth, as a lead-off walk from Salvalzo scored on a Cougars error. 

Clark closed the gap to 4-2 with a pair of runs in the bottom of the fifth. Natalie Stilwell (Beverly, MA) started the rally with a lead-off single before a two-out triple from Francesca Cirone (Franklin Square, NY) plated Stilwell. Cirone then scored on a passed ball for the second run, before WPI got the final out to limit the damage. 

WPI got those two runs back and more, using a four-run sixth inning to take an 8-2 lead. A walk to Gibbs scored on a single from Russell, while Sheehan drove in another run with an infield hit. Lazarus got an RBI groundout for the third run of the frame, while a Pritchard single pushed it to a six-run Engineer advantage. 

The Crimson and Gray added two runs in the top of the seventh to increase the lead to 10-2. A two-out rally was started by singles from Russell and Sheehan before Lazarus drove in two runs for an eight-run lead for the visitors. 

Clark made things interesting with three in the bottom of the seventh, but WPI's lead was too big for the Cougars to overcome. Mauro and Hughes singled to open the frame, followed by a Gibson walk to load the bases. Martin then laced a single to center to plate two runs, cutting the lead to 10-4. Reilly Bronson (Seymour, CT) reached on a fielder's choice to drive in the third run of the frame, but a flyout ended the inning and the game in WPI's favor. 

WPI's Pritchard picked up the win, going five innings, allowing one earned run on six hits with four strikeouts. Lazarus threw two innings in relief, allowing three runs on three hits. 

Clark's Nicole Buckley (Hazlet, NJ) took the loss, going six innings, allowing six earned runs on 11 hits with three strikeouts. 

WPI closes the regular season with a pair of NEWMAC doubleheaders next weekend, hosting Springfield on Friday at 3:30pm before heading to Wellesley on Saturday at noon. Clark has a non-conference tilt up next, hosting Nichols for a 3pm doubleheader on Tuesday.