WORCESTER -- A battle between No. 5 Babson and No. 4 WPI in the opening game of the NEWMAC Championship went to extra innings, and Babson came away with the victory with a 10-6 win over the Engineers Friday afternoon.
The game was postponed from Wednesday and Thursday due to rain and wet field conditions, and was a nailbiter, but WPI's (20-19) in the double elimination tournament, WPI will need to defeat Coast Guard on Saturday at MIT at 12 pm to keep their season going. Babson (22-19) advances to face No. 1 MIT in the nightcap of the Championship doubleheader.
Sophia Togneri (Hudson, MA) got the start and pitched 6.1 innings of action allowing 12 hits and eight earned runs while striking out three. Pritcherd stepped into the game in relief in the fifth inning, throwing 1.2 innings of action, allowing just two hits and one run.
Moira O'Reilly (Columbus, OH) went the distance for Babson pitching all eight innings of action, allowing 10 hits and six runs and striking out 11.
Liz Jordan (Yardley, PA) finished 3-for-3 on the day with a run scored, while Alicia Salvalzo (Hudson, NH) and Kallie Case (Phoenix, AZ) put together two hit efforts in the loss.
Babson put up a run in both the first and second inning to get out to an early lead before WPI put together a three-run fourth inning to gain its first lead of the day. The Engineers did all of the scoring with two outs on the board as Salvalzo drew a walk to get the action going followed by a walk to Jocelyn Diaz (Reedley, CA) to get a runner in scoring position.
Case followed up with one of her two hits on the day, singling to left field to bring home Salvalzo. Case's hit was followed up by a double from Emma Nagy (Monroe, WA) who drove in a pair to help WPI into the lead.
Babson answered with a three-run top of the fifth, but WPI responded right away adding another three runs in the bottom half of the inning. Jordan started off with a bunt single, advancing to second on a sac bunt from Sydney Russell (Arlington, VA). Lindsay Ambrosino (Chelmsford, MA) also produced a bunt single, advancing to second on the play as Jordan moved up to third. Salvalzo drove in her pair of runs with a double to left, coupled with a Diaz triple down the right field line to score Salvalzo and once again give WPI the lead, 6-5. Again, all of WPI's runs came with two-outs on the board.
Babson evened the score in the top of the sixth and forced the extra innings affair where they produced four runs in the top of the eighth and were able to hold on to the lead to advance in the Championship. A Caroline Taylor (Biddeford, ME) single up the middle was the deciding factor in the game.
The Engineers need to win their next outing against Coast Guard, Saturday afternoon at MIT at 12 pm to continue in the NEWMAC Championship. WPI needs to win five games in the next three days to retain their NEWMAC Championship title.