Springfield, Mass. -- April 24, 2012 -- Christina Leader and Breann Joyce of the Springfield College softball team each knocked in three runs to lead SC over Wheaton, 12-0 in five innings, this afternoon in a New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference Tournament game at SC's Potter Field. In the first game of the day at Potter Field, Wheaton had beaten WPI, 6-0.
As a result of these two games, #1-seeded Springfield continues on in the winner's bracket, and will play #2-seeded Babson Saturday at Springfield at 10 am. It is a double elimination tourney. And both Springfield and Babson are the only unbeaten teams at this point. in the early part of the tournament.
#5-seeded Wheaton, having gone 1-1 on the day, is now 18-20 overall. #4-seeded WPI, 0-1 on the day, is now 24-15 overall.
Game #1 -- Wheaton 6, WPI 0
In game #1, freshman Noelle Christmas (Plymouth, Mass.) belted a three-run home run and sophomore Allison Baker (Orange, Mass.) twirled a shutout to help lift fifth-seeded Wheaton College to a 6-0 victory over WPI in a NEWMAC Tournament softball game this afternoon at Springfield College’s Potter Field.
With the win, the Lyons advanced in the winner’s bracket to face host and top seed Springfield this afternoon. WPI (24-15) moves to the loser’s bracket of the double elimination tournament and will face #6-seeded Coast Guard on Saturday at noon back in Springfield. Babson defeated Coast Guard, 14-10, this afternoon in Babson Park. In the first game there, Coast Guard had beaten #3-seeded Wellesley, 5-2.
At Springfield, Wheaton got the scoring started in the top of the first. Christmas led off the game with a walk, stole second, moved to third on an error and came around on a bloop single by Megan Roy (North Dighton, Mass.). The Lyons broke open the game an inning later when Christmas’ one-out bomb to left field brought home Amanda Drury (Tolland, Conn.) and Amanda Poplaski (North Reading, Mass.), who had each singled.
The Lyons tacked on a pair of insurance runs in the third when Renee Laflam (Concord, N.H.) delivered an RBI two-bagger and Aimee Avila (North Dighton, Mass.) added a run-producing single.
Baker was masterful, scattering five hits and walking none en route to improving to 12-11 this spring. The right-hander only allowed multiple runners to reach base twice on the day, including the fifth inning when Christmas thwarted the WPI threat by gunning down a runner at third base from right field.
Erin Flaherty (Stoughton, Mass.) absorbed the loss for WPI. The senior is now 11-5 this season after yielding five earned runs in 2 1/3 innings of work. Classmate Allie Hardy (West Townsend, Mass.) hurled 4 2/3 innings of scoreless relief, allowing just two hits while striking out two.
Laflam and Roy were the only repeat hitters on the day while Katie Bumila (Raynham, Mass.), Nicole McDonough (Abington, Mass.), Erin Beaulieu (Bethany, Conn.), Allie LaRue (South Glens Falls, N.Y). and Allie Roche (Chelmsford, Mass.) all tallied single hits for the Engineers.
Game #2 -- Springfield 12, Wheaton 0 (5 inn.)
In game #2 at Potter Field, Springfield was led by sophomore right-hander Ashley Marino (Harrison, N.Y.). who spun a two-hit five-inning shutout. Marino struck out nine and walked none, facing only 18 batters, in going the distance in the 12-0 Springfield victory.
Baker took the loss, evening her record at 12-12. In 2 1/3 innings she gave up five runs (four earned) on seven hits. Christmas came on in relief, and gave up seven runs on five hits in 1 1/3 innings.
Marino lowered her ERA to 1.12 and is now 13-6 on the season, which includes two no-hitters.
In the bottom of the first, following a single and a walk, sophomore outfielder Ally Rivelli (North Kingstown, R.I.) scored on a muffed throw, giving SC a 1-0 lead.
It was in the third inning and fourth innings where the Pride really broke it open, scoring six runs in the third and five more in the fourth.
In the third, senior second baseman Kasey Kelly (Poughkeepsie, N.Y.) and junior shortstop Kelly Blake (Watertown, Conn.) both singled. Junior first baseman Breann Joyce (Trumbull, Conn.) then ripped a three-run home run to give the Pride a 4-0 lead. Junior outfielder Chelsea Bender (Poughkeepsie, N.Y.) followed suit with another home run. Later, two more unearned runs came across.
In the fourth inning, the big hits were provided on a two-run single by senior third baseman Tess Gagliano (Atlantic Highlands, N.J.) and on a three-run triple by Leader, a sophomore center fielder from Yorktown Heights, N.Y.
Blake went 2-for-3 and now owns a 19-game hitting streak. Her batting average increased to .412. Others who have hefty batting averages include Kelly (.382), Leader (.381), and Joyce (.380). Rivelli is hitting ,322.
Wheaton's two hits came in the first and the fourth -- both singles.