SPRINGFIELD, Mass. – April 25, 2007 – Angie Atkins hit a two-run single to cap a five-run fifth to help Springfield College to a 9-1 five-inning victory over Clark University in a second round New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference tournament game this afternoon at soggy Potter Field on the campus of Springfield College.
With the win, Springfield raised its record to 23-12, while Clark fell to 19-15. Clark entered the contest as the tourney’s #4 seed, and had earlier beaten #5-seeded Smith, 11-8, in a first-round game played at the same venue. By winning, Springfield will wait to play the third game of the day on Saturday at 2 p.m. Clark will next play on Saturday in the second game of the day at 12 noon. All remaining games in the NEWMAC Tourney will be played at Potter Field.
There is a new format this season in the NEWMAC Softball Tourney where only the top six teams play, but the tourney is a complete double-elimination. In previous years, the top eight teams played a first-round game, with the first round a single elimination. This year, all six teams are guaranteed to advance to play on Saturday.
This game was scoreless entering the bottom of the second inning. The first three SC batters – freshman catcher Michelle Wlosek (Nutley, N.J.), freshman right fielder Bryn Worrilow (North Babylon, N.Y.), and sophomore DP Aimee Cassella (Southington, Conn.) -- all singled to load the bases. Moments later, freshman shortstop Jaimie Moran (Manchester, Conn.) unloaded them with a grand slam to left field. That made it 4-0, Springfield.
Clark scored its lone run in the top of the third. Senior left fielder Kate Kelley (Guilford Conn.) singled, went to second on a ground out, then scored on an RBI- single by freshman second baseman Lauren Blake (Oakland, Me.). The next batter walked, giving Clark its best final threat to score, but junior pitcher Stephanie Blackman (Stamford, Conn.) then struck out her counterpart, junior pitcher Heather Warren (Upland, Calif.) to end that threat.
It was still 4-1, SC, entering the bottom of the fifth inning. Nine batters were destined to come to the plate for the Pride.
Sophomore left fielder Danielle Spiro (South Windsor, Conn., the reigning NEWMAC Player of the Week, began the inning with a double. She then came home on a two-run home run to right field by Wlosek, making it 6-1. Worrilow then walked to create a new rally. With one out, Moran singled. With runners on first and third, sophomore first baseman Loni Rodriguez (Westfield, Mass.) then hit a slow grounder to second. The second baseman elected to come home with it, but sophomore pinch-runner Nicole Uliasz (Dalton, Mass.) slid under the tag, making it 7-1. Three batters later, with the bases loaded, Atkins, a sophomore center fielder from East Haddam, Conn., laced one up the middle to knock in two runs and win it via mercy rule, 9-1.
Blackman went the distance for Springfield. She scattered just three hits and gave up the one run in raising her record to 12-5. She retired the last seven batters she faced. Warren picked up the loss.
For Springfield, Wlosek was 3-for-3 with two RBI’s and two runs scored. Moran was 2-for-3 with four RBI’s and one run scored. SC had 10 hits all told.