Worcester, Mass. - April 21, 2014 - The Springfield College softball team surrendered three runs in the bottom of the seventh as it fell to WPI, 4-3, in the final game of the New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) regular season on Monday afternoon.
With the loss, the Pride will be the No. 4 seed in the upcoming NEWMAC Championship as it now stands at 18-10-1, 11-7 in league action.
Kristin Gallagher (Coventry, R.I.) went 4 for 4 with two RBIs and drove in the tying run for WPI in the dramatic walk-off win.
The Engineers trailed 3-1 entering their final round at the plate, but produced when it mattered, getting three consecutive hits to begin the inning, starting with a leadoff double by Amanda Pierce (Ware, Mass.). Ali LaRue (South Glens Falls, NY) and Nicole McDonough (Abington, Mass.) followed with base hits. Pierce crossed home on LaRue’s knock, with LaRue later coming around to tie it at 3-3 on Gallagher’s single up the middle.
The walk-off came with one out on a Lauren DiFelice (Acushnet, Mass.) fly ball just beyond the shortstop position in shallow left field that was not corralled, allowing McDonough to scamper home from third. It was the third time this season that WPI tallied a seventh-inning comeback win, with the late rally also allowing pitcher Caroline Medino (Pompton Lakes, NJ) to pocket her 11th win. Medino held the Pride scoreless over the first five innings.
. The hosts grabbed an early lead in the first inning after Gallagher singled to left field, driving in McDonough to make it 1-0. The Crimson and Gray held that same lead into the sixth inning when Springfield got two back as Elizabeth Joseph (Stamford, Conn.) doubled to bring around Simone Morin (Plantsville, Conn.). Joseph scored herself two batters later on single by Caitie Holik (South Windsor, Conn.) that put the Pride in the driver’s seat, up 2-0 late in the game.
Springfield (18-10-1, 11-7) added its final run in the seventh as Brielle Engelbrech (Granby, Mass.) tripled and then took home on an errant throw by WPI.
The Pride’s Ashley Marino (Harrison, NY) allowed just one unearned run in four innings to start the game.
Springfield also qualified for NEWMAC Tournament and will be the No. 4 seed. The Pride begins the NEWMAC Tournament on Friday at 2:30pm, taking on No. 5 seed Babson.