Wellesley, Mass. - April 25, 2014 - Brielle Engelbrecht (Granby, Mass.) drove in the game-winning run in the bottom of the eighth inning to give the Springfield College softball team a 2-1 extra inning win over Babson College in the opening round of the New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) tournament at Wellesley College on Friday.
In game two of the evening, the Pride fell to top-seeded Wellesley, 0-0. With the loss, Springfield will play at noon on Saturday against No. 6 Smith, who lost to WPI in eight innings on Friday.
Springfield 2, Babson, 1 (8 inn.):
It took one extra inning for the fourth-seeded Pride to beat No. 5 Babson, as Engelbrecht collected her second hit of the day with two outs in the inning. Ally Rivelli (North Kingstown, R.I.) executed a perfect sacrifice bunt to move Ashley Marino (Harrison, N.Y.) to third base, but Babson got a strikeout for the second out of the inning. Engelbrecht's RBI single to right field gave the Pride the walk off, 2-1 win.
The two teams split during the regular season, but on Friday, the Pride got the best of the Beavers to improve to 19-10-1 on the season. With the win, Springfield advanced to play top-seeded Wellesley in the second round on Friday evening.
Jennifer Joseph (Stamford, Conn.) pitched the Pride to the win, throwing a complete game two-hitter. She allowed just one unearned run while picking up seven strikeouts to improve to 9-3 on the year.
Springfield jumped out to an early lead, plating a run in the bottom of the first inning. Christina Leader (Yorktown Heights, N.Y.) was hit by a pitch to lead off the inning and Engelbrecht followed with a single up the middle. After a passed ball, Melissa Nelson (Milford, Conn.) singled to center to plate Leader for a 1-0 lead. Still with no outs, Babson pitcher Kathleen Conway got a strike out and a ground-out, while the Beavers caught a runner stealing, ending the inning with minimal damage.
Babson tied it up in the top of the sixth, scoring an unearned run to make it 1-1. Christa Shorette led off the inning with the Beavers first hit of the game, a high bloop that fell behind second base. A sacrifice bunt moved Shorette to second and a throwing error allowed her to advance to third. Meaghan Merullo promptly followed with a single to center to score the tying run.
Springfield threatened in the bottom of the seventh, with a runner on second with just one out. However, Conway escaped the jam with a ground-out and a pop-out to send the game into extras.
In the top of the eighth, Babson was unable to move the tiebreaker runner placed on second, as Joseph retired the side in order, setting up Springfield's bottom of the eighth heroics.
Wellesley 3, Springfeld 0:
In game two of the day, the Pride squared off with top-seeded Wellesley and fell after the Blue scored three times in the fourth inning.
Wellesley got to the Pride in the bottom of the fourth, posting three runs on four hits. After a foul ball out to start the inning, Maria LaBouyer singled to left center and moved to second after Jayne Ellis was hit by a pitch. Emilyrose Havrilla broke open the scoring with an RBI single to right center, plating LaBouyer. Havrilla stole second and the Pride recorded the second out of the inning on a pop up to second base. Back-to-back RBI singles by Jennifer Migliore and Mariah Philips gave Wellesley a 3-0 lead. Springfield got out of the inning in the next at bat, on a ground ball to shortstop.
That would be all the scoring Wellesley would do, but the Blue held the Pride to just three hits on the day. Nelson tallied two of those hits while Caitie Holik (South Windsor, Conn.) picked up one. Springfield is now 19-11-1 overall.