Springfield, Mass. - April 10, 2009 - The Springfield College softball team picked up a pair of key conference wins on Friday afternoon as it swept a doubleheader against Babson in New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) action. The Pride won the opener 4-1, before holding off the Beavers in the second game, 6-5. Junior catcher Michelle Wlosek hit a three-run home run in the first inning of each game, the 20th and 21st home runs of her career, to pace the Pride.
With the victories, Springfield is now 10-15 overall, 5-4 in the NEWMAC. Babson fell to 16-14 overall, 7-5 in the conference.
Over the course of the afternoon, Wlosek, a native of Nutley, N.J., went 3-for-4 with 2 runs scored and 6 RBI's. At the end of one inning of each game, Springfield led 3-0 on the strength of Wlosek's home runs. In game #1, the drive was a low-liner that went to straightaway right field, just clearing the fence. In game #2, Wlosek blasted a towering drive to left, leaving little doubt at the crack of the bat. Wlosek has now hit 21 home runs in her career. She hit nine as a freshman, and eight as a sophomore. She now has four in her junior year.
Sharing the spotlight on the afternoon for Springfield was senior lefthander Samantha Rhodes (Mendon, Mass.), who pitched a complete game victory in game #1, and who came on to record a save in the 7th inning of game #2. Rhodes is now 5-6 on the season. In the first game, she scattered nine hits in giving up no earned runs, while striking out nine and walking none. Freshman righthander Megan Fitzgerald (Troy, N.Y.) went 6.1 innings in game #2 to earn the victory. For Babson, junior righthander Danielle Liska (Seymour, Conn.), was the starter and loser in both games. Now 12-5, she hurled six innings in game #1 and five innings in game #2.
In the first game, senior CF Angie Atkins (East Haddam, Conn.) led off the first with a single to left. With one out, senior 1B Aimee Cassella (Southington, Conn.) walked. Wlosek then followed that up with her three-run home run.
Babson tallied its lone run in the fourth. After one out, senior SS Kaitlyn Clark (Ramsey, N.J.) doubled to right center. Sophomore 1B Jess Winer from nearby Longmeadow, Mass. then singled, advancing the runner to third. Freshman 2B Kayla Davis (Gardner, Mass.) then reached on a dropped pop-up, loading the bases. Freshman pinch-hitter Lisa Wojnar (Bellaire, Tex.) was then hit by a pitch to force in the run, making it 3-1.
In Springfield's fifth inning, Atkins, who went 3-for-4 in this game and 5-for-8 in the doubleheader, led with a single and then stole second. A few moments later, she was chased home on a double by Cassella. From there, Rhodes allowed two base runners in the sixth, and one in the seventh, but proved very tough in the clutch.
In game #2, the scenario was very similar in the first inning. Atkins led with a double, and senior LF Amanda Lyons (Eastchester, N.Y.) singled her to second and stole second. After a strikeout, Wlosek let loose with her blast to left, and SC led again, 3-0, after one.
The Pride added two more in the fifth on consecutive RBI-singles, both with two outs, by freshman SS Mackenzie O'Dea (Weymouth, Mass.) and freshman 3B Tess Gagliano (Atlantic Highlands, N.J.). In the bottom of the sixth inning, Springfield tacked on what appeared to be a meaningless run. Atkins led with a single, and moved up to second on an error on an overthrow back to the infield. Atkins then moved up another base on a wild pitch, and then scored on a single by Cassella. SC later loaded the bases. With two outs, and with visions of ending the game on an 8-run mercy rule, O'Dea lined a shot to third base where freshman Jessica Pashos (Winchester, Mass.) made a nice catch to prevent that from happening.
Babson then made it very interesting in the top of the seventh, scoring five times. Wojnar opened with a single, and junior pinch-hitter Brittney Russo (Middletown, Conn.) followed with a double. After a strikeout for the first out, Fitzgerald was still not in any imminent danger. But freshman DH Annie Dursema (Yarmouth, Me.) singled to knock in the Beavers' first run. Pashos' singled to knock home the second run. Freshman catcher Nicole Latini (East Bridgewater, Mass.) then singled to load the bases, which brought first-game winner Rhodes on to replace Fitzgerald. Clark then hit a ball to third base for an error, although Clark was granted the RBI, and the bases remained loaded. That made it, 6-3. Winer popped to first for the second out. Rhodes then induced a ground ball to short, but the ball went right through the wickets, and two runs scored, making it 6-5. Finally, Wojnar, in her second at-bat of the inning, popped out to senior 2B Laura Riccio (Bristol, Conn.) to end it.