With the wins, Springfield is now 22-12-1 overall, and finish 12-4 in the New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference. Wheaton, one of two teams that could have wrested away the top seed from SC when the day began, finished at 17-19 overall, 9-7 in the conference.
In game #1, with two outs in the bottom of the first inning, senior second baseman Kasey Kelly (Poughkeepsie, N.Y.) and junior shortstop Kelly Blake (Watertown, Conn.) hit back-to-back singles. That brought up Joyce, a junior first baseman from Trumbull, Conn., who picked on the fitst pitch she saw and parked it over the left-center field fence, making it 3-0 in favor of the Pride. It was Joyce's fourth home run in two days.
In the fifth inning, sophomore left-fielder Ally Rivelli (North Kingstown, R.I.) singled. She was sacrificed to second by Kelly, and moved to third on a long fly ball to left-center. Joyce then bounced a ball up the middle to knock in her fourth run of the contest.
From an SC point of view, they would need it.
SC sophomore righthander Ashley Marino (Harrison, N.Y.) was pitching a one-hit shutout through 6 1/3 innings and was in total control. But three straight hits gave Wheaton one run. Sophomore Ashley Brillon (Attleboro, Mass.), who had the only hit to that point, a single off the third baseman's mitt in the first inning, then singled to left. That was followed by a single by junior first baseman Megan Roy (North Dighton, Mass.). Junior Renee Laflam (Concord, N.H.) then singled, knocking in one run.
After a pop out, freshman Aimee Avila (North Dighton, Mass.) then singled to center, knocking in two more, and moved to second on the throw home. Senior outfielder Amanda Poplaski (North Reading, Mass.) then lashed a line drive that was speared by Marino to abruptly end the game -- and give SC the number one seed in the tournament.
Springfield finished with 11 hits, while Wheaton ended with five, four in that final inning.
In game #2, a see-saw affair, most of the dramatics came in the last inning and a half. SC led 2-1 entering the top of the seventh inning. Freshman Noelle Christmas (Plymouth, Mass.) then led off that inning with a single to center. After she was sacrificed to second, Avila doubled her home to tie matters at 2-all.
The Pride threatened in the bottom of the seventh with a runner on second with just one out, but could not push a run across.
In the eighth, junior Alanna Monahan (Dorchester, Mass.) was placed on second to start the inning. She was sacrificed to third, and then scored on a sacrifice fly to right by Brillon.
In the bottom of the eighth, Marino began by being placed on second. She was sacrificed to third by Bender, and then was thrown out at the plate on a rundown. With two outs and a runner on first, freshman Brittany Lally (Hudson, Mass.) then doubled down the left field line. That brought Entel to the plate. The freshman pinch-hitter from Berkley, Mass. then slashed a double down the right field line, scoring both runners, and giving SC the victory.
Sophomore Jennifer Joseph (Stamford Conn.) got the win, and is now 10-3 on the season. She hurled the complete game, giving up seven hits. Christmas took the loss for the Lyons.