Wellesley Softball Drops NEWMAC Doubleheader at WPI

Julia Warner (Julia Monaco '19)
Julia Warner (Julia Monaco '19)

WORCESTER, Mass. -- WPI softball took a 10-2 victory in six innings in game one and an 8-2 victory in game two, sweeping Wellesley College softball in a New England Women's & Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) doubleheader on Saturday afternoon at WPI's Rooftop Field.

WPI snapped the Blue's nine-game winning streak, while extending their own streak to eight games, to improve to 20-10 overall and 11-3 in the NEWMAC. Wellesley is now 15-6 overall and 10-4 in the NEWMAC, dropping into a four-way tie for second in the conference standings just a day after the Blue had grabbed first place. WPI now occupies the top spot.

Game One: WPI 10, Wellesley 2 (6 inn.)

Junior Katie Chagami (Waipahu, Hawaii) drove in three runners and sophomore Renee LeClaire (Merrimack, N.H.) and junior Ama Biney (Worcester, MA) each added a pair of RBIs to lead the Engineers to a 10-2 six inning victory in game one.

WPI had 15 hits in the opener, with Chagami and LeClaire leading the way with three apiece. Chagami had the biggest of the game, scoring a pair of runs with a two-run home run in the bottom of the fifth inning. Biney, senior Kristin Gallagher (Coventry, R.I.), and seniors Lindsay Gurska (Revere, Mass.) and Hope Shevchuk (Burlington, Conn.) all hit doubles in the game. First year Mackenzie Phillips (Gill, Mass.) pitched four innings and gave up just three hits to improve to 7-4 on the year.

Wellesley starting pitcher Julia Warner (Kenmore, Wash.) was charged with the loss after giving up four runs, all earned, on six hits in three innings of work. Warner got two of those runs back in the top of the fifth inning, supplying the only Wellesley offense in the contest with her first career home run, a two-run shot. First year Kalei Oliver (Vista, Calif.) had two hits to lead Wellesley in game one. Junior Amanda Manning (Chico, Calif.), sophomore Veronica Locher (Walnut Creek, Calif.) and first year Autumn Brown (Marshfield, Mass.) also added hits in the opener.

WPI scored at least one run in every inning in game one. The Engineers pushed across the first run of the game in the bottom of the first inning when LeClaire singled through the right side. Shevchuck added the second in the second, scoring Gurska with an RBI single, before sophomore Kylie Juarez (Elk Grove, Calif.) plated the third run with an RBI single that brought LeClaire around to score in the third inning.

Leading 3-0, WPI stretched out their advantage in the bottom of the fourth inning, scoring four runs on three hits and one Wellesley error to take a commanding 7-0 lead. Biney had the big hit the inning, ripping a two-RBI double down the left field line to score Shevchuck and Gurska. LeClaire added her second RBI of the contest with an RBI ground out that allowed Biney to score later in the inning.

Wellesley got two in the top of the fifth, as Warner capitalized on a leadoff single from Oliver with a two-run blast to left center. However, Chagami answered with a two-run home run of her own in the home half of the frame, before she also hit an RBI single to help WPI walk-off with a 10-2 victory in the sixth.

Game Two: WPI 8, Wellesley 2

Trailing 2-0, Wellesley rallied for a pair of runs to the tie the game in the top of the third inning, but WPI scored the final six runs in the ballgame to sweep the doubleheader with an 8-2 victory.

Biney finished the nightcap 3-for-4 with a double at the plate, while LeClaire picked-up two more RBIs and a double. Junior RiAnna May (Westminster, Colo.) had two hits, a double, and two runs scored. Shevchuk and first year Cassie Graca (Somerset, Mass.) also had two hits apiece, while Gurska had two RBIs and a double. Junior Kelsey Saucier (Worcester, Mass.) pitched four shutout innings, giving up just three hits and striking out three to earn her ninth win of the season (9-5).

Senior Kendra Coleman (Scottsdale, Ariz.) doubled twice and had an RBI in game two for the Blue. Kendra Coleman was one of three Wellesley players with two hits, along with Warner and junior Amanda Manning (Chico, Calif.). Ashtyn Coleman (Scottsdale, Ariz.) lined a sacrifice fly into right in the top of the third to register an RBI. Wellesley starter Sydney Hopper (Newcastle, Wash.) went three innings and gave up eight runs, six earned, in her first loss of the season (5-1). Warner came on in relief and pitched three shutout innings.

WPI jumped ahead 1-0 in the first inning on a LeClaire RBI groundout that scored Biney. The Wellesley deficit increased to 2-0 in the second when an infield single from Graca brought Chagami in to score.

Wellesley rallied with one-out in the top of the third, scoring two runs on three hits. Warner hit an infield single to turn the Wellesley lineup over. Manning then beat out another infield single to put two runners aboard for Kendra Coleman. Kendra Coleman brought Warner around with a double down the right field line, setting the stage for Ashtyn Coleman. Ashtyn Coleman lined a ball into right field, but it turned into a sacrifice that brought Manning to plate. However, the Blue left Kendra Coleman at second as the game advanced to the fourth inning.

WPI immediately got both runs back, scoring twice on a two-RBI double to left by Gurska. The Engineers added four more runs in the bottom of the fourth inning to stretch out their lead in game two. Biney scored on an error and May scored on a wild pitch, while LeClaire and May each added RBI hits to make the score 8-2 WPI. That would prove to be all the hosts needed, as first year Mackenzie Phillips (Gill, Mass.) shutout the Blue over the final three innings to secure the sweep.

Wellesley will take a break from NEWMAC play when they host Brandeis on Wednesday, April 19, at 3:00 PM. WPI will play at Westfield State in non-conference action on Tuesday, April 18, at 3:30 PM.