Springfield, Mass. - April 19, 2014 - The Springfield College softball team swept visiting Wheaton on Saturday in a New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) doubleheader on Potter Field. In game one, Tasha Polana (Orange, Mass.) drove in the game-winning run in the bottom of the seventh to walk off with the win.
Springfield improves to 18-9-1 (11-6 NEWMAC) with the sweep in the last home series of the season while Wheaton drops to 29-7 (13-5) with the losses.
Springfield 5, Wheaton 4:
With a tie game heading into the seventh, Springfield's Camdyn Morgillo (West Haven, Conn.) pitched a scoreless inning of relief and the Pride's bats got it done in the bottom half of the inning. Brielle Engelbrecht (Granby, Mass.) led off the inning with a triple and Tasha Polana (Orange, Mass.) drove her in on an infield single for the walk-off win.
Polana went 4-for-4 with three RBI's, Melissa Nelson (Milford, Conn.) went 3-for-3 with two runs scored while Jenna Webb (Harrison, N.Y) and Engelbrecht each went 2-for-4.
Wheaton was led by Ashley Brillon (Attleboro, Mass.) and Emma Hart (Lincoln, R.I.), each going 2-for-4 and Emily Berardi (Boston, Mass.) went 2-for-3.
Springfield got into a jam in the first inning, as Wheaton loaded the bases with one out, but Jennifer Joseph (Stamford, Conn.) got Marissa Timoteo (Jupiter, Fla.) to fly out to left field and the throw from Webb to Elizabeth Joseph (Stamford, Conn.) at the plate allowed her to throw out Hart at third base. Before the third out, Wheaton scored Brillon on the play to take a 1-0 lead.
The Pride took advantage of Wheaton miscues in the bottom half of the inning, going ahead 3-1 on four hits and two errors. With runners on second and third, Webb hit a ball out to center field that was dropped, allowing Nelson and Engelbrecht to scored and Webb to take second base. In the next at-bat, Polana singled to right field, but a throwing error allowed her to take second and Webb to score for a 3-1 lead.
In the top of the third, the Lyons tied the game with two outs in the inning. Hart beat out a bunt single in front of the plate, then stole second to get into scoring position. Jenna Rocha (Rehoboth, Mass.) singled and advanced to second on the throw to home, but Hart scored on the play to make it a 3-2 game. In the next at-bat, Berardi singled to right center, scoring Rocha to knot things up at three runs apiece.
The Pride took the lead back in the third to go ahead 4-3. Nelson and Webb had back-to-back singles to start the inning and Polana drove Nelson in on a double to deep right field. Wheaton pitcher Allison Baker (Orange, Conn.) tallied three-straight outs to end the inning.
Wheaton tied the game again in the top of the fifth with two outs in the inning. Brillon singled to lead off the inning and Hart reached on an error. The Pride tallied back-to-back outs, but Timoteo singled to right center to drive in Brillon for a 4-4 game. Springfield got out of the inning in the next at-bat on a grounder to shortstop.
The Pride threatened in the bottom of the fifth, as Nelson and Webb led off with back-to-back singles. The Lyons got two-straight outs and Baker ended the inning on a strikeout.
Jennifer Joseph went six innings in the circle for the Pride, allowing eight hits and four runs, three earned with six strikeouts. Baker took the loss for Wheaton (13-3), throwing the whole game, allowing 12 hits, five runs, two earned, with four strikeouts.
Engelbrecht came up huge for the Pride in the bottom of the seventh with the game knotted at four runs apiece. The sophomore hit a lead off triple to deep right field and the Lyons intentionally walked Nelson, who took second base. Baker got the first out of the inning on a strikeout, but an infield single by Polana scored Engelbrecht for the walk-off win.
Springfield 9, Wheaton 6:
Polana again led the Pride offensively in game two, going 4-for-4 with one run scored and one driven in. Nelson tallied two hits while Engelbrecht drove in two runs.
Wheaton was led by Madeline Hatch (Acton, Mass.) and Rocha, each recording two hits. Rebecca Seifert (Franklin, Mass.) and Brillon each drove in two runs for the Lyons.
Wheaton again got on the board early in game two of the doubleheader, taking a 1-0 lead. Hatch singled with one out in the inning and scored in the next at-bat on a double to the wall in left field from Rocha. Springfield got out of the inning on two-straight pop ups.
The Pride had a huge third inning though, posting nine runs on seven hits and two Lyons' errors to take a commanding 9-1 lead. Springfield had eight different players record an RBI in the inning, including Engelbrecht who had two. Nelson, Webb, Polana, Christina Leader (Yorktown Heights, N.Y.), Brittany Lally (Hudson, Mass.), Ally Rivelli (North Kingstown, R.I.) and Johanna Burke (Oxford, Mass.) all drove in a run in the third.
The Lyons got right back in the game in the top of the fourth, though, posting five runs to make it a 9-6 game, all with two outs in the inning. After back-to-back strikeouts, Wheaton loaded the bases on two walks and a single by Morgan Walsh (Norwell, Mass.). Seifert drove in two runs in the next at-bat on a single to center field, scoring Walsh and Timoteo for a 9-3 game. A single up the middle by Sara Morrow (Woodstock, Conn.) scored Kelly Welch (Wood Dale, Ill.) for a 9-4 game and Brillon drove in two more runs on a single to left center to come within three.
Springfield held on in the final three innings to complete the sweep, as Morgillo pitched three scoreless innings of relief, allowing just two hits while striking out one.
On Monday, the Pride will head to WPI for the final NEWMAC match up of the season. The winner of that game, set to begin at 5:00 p.m. will secure the No. 3 seed in the upcoming NEWMAC tournament.