As part of our summer series, we are looking back at the best moments from the 2021-2022 academic year, today featuring WPI softball on their historic reverse sweep over Tufts to send the Engineers to the NCAA Softball World Series for the first time in program history.
WORCESTER -- After being held without a hit for five innings, the WPI softball team exploded for six runs in the bottom of the sixth inning for a stunning 6-1 victory over Tufts, completing a sweep of Saturday's doubleheader and clinching the NCAA Division Worcester Super Regional title at Rooftop Field.
With their come-from-behind win in the best-of-three series, the Engineers clinch their first-ever berth in the NCAA Division III Softball Finals. The Engineers (35-15) will head to Moyer Sports Complex in Salem, Virginia to begin the double-elimination championship tournament on May 26th. Brackets, matchups, and schedule will be released on Sunday or Monday.
Katie Martin (Bedford, NH) was named both the Most Outstanding Pitcher and Most Outstanding Player of the Super Regional. Martin, who threw 19 of 20 innings for the Engineers in the Super Regional, was sharp in the deciding game three. She allowed just one run on three hits and did not issue a walk while striking out four.
With just six outs remaining to keep their season alive, the Engineers rallied for all six of their runs before an out was recorded in the sixth.
Lindsay Ambrosino (Chelmsford, MA) led off the inning and broke up a no-hit bid by Sophia DiCocco (Bozrah, CT) with a bunt single. A double to deep left field by Stephanie Bishop (Milford, NH) put runners at second and third, and the Engineers took the lead on a two-run single through the right side by Sydney Russell (Arlington, VA).
Now leading 2-1, WPI loaded the bases with still none out and then plated two more when a ball off the bat of Jocelyn Diaz (Reedley, CA) was thrown away by DiCocco as she attempted to get the force out at home.
Kallie Case (Phoenix, AZ) padded the lead even more with a two-run double to right field.
Martin (25-6) got the first two Jumbos to ground out in the top of the seventh, and then, after a bunt single, threw her glove in the air to celebrate as the final out was made on a force out at second base.
As DiCocco held the Engineers off the board early, the WPI graduate student pitcher was cruising herself. She had allowed just one hit over the first four and two-third innings when first baseman Nicole Russo (Scottsdale, AZ) delivered what could have been the decisive blow for the Jumbos (36-12) with a home run to center field with two outs in the fifth to give Tufts a 1-0 lead.
DiCocco finishes her season with an 18-6 record in the circle for the Jumbos. She gave up five hits and six runs, four of them earned, and struck out a pair.