Pair of Three-Run Homers Help Blue Softball Sweep Clark

Julianne Griffin hit a three-run home run in the game one win (Frank Poulin).
Julianne Griffin hit a three-run home run in the game one win (Frank Poulin).

WORCESTER, Mass. -- Paced by a pair of three-run home runs, Wellesley College softball swept Clark University in a New England Women's & Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) doubleheader on Tuesday afternoon at O'Brien Field. The Blue earned a 7-5 win in game one and a 5-4 victory in game two.

Wellesley snapped a seven-game winless streak with the pair of victories and is now 9-15-2 overall and 5-10-1 in the NEWMAC. Clark drops to 9-23 overall (3-15 NEWMAC).

Game 1 | Wellesley 7, Clark 5 | Final

Sophomore Julianne Griffin (Blue Bell, Pa.) hit a three-run home run in the top of the sixth inning to rally the Blue to a 7-4 comeback victory over Clark in game one. Griffin finished the game 2-for-3 with a home run and four RBI, as Wellesley erased a two-run deficit with a five-run fifth to win the opener.

Sophomore Gen Brittingham (Aliso Viejo, Calif.) added a pair of hits, scoring a run and driving in one, while starting pitcher Hayley Moniz (Westfield, Mass.) finished 1-for-3 with an RBI and a run scored at the dish. Moniz pitched 7.0 innings to earn the victory (3-5), giving-up four runs on four hits, walking four and striking out two.

Brittingham got the Blue on the board first, doubling to score first year Marisa Hensch (Carlsbad, Calif.) in the top of the first, but Clark scored three runs in the home half of the inning to take a 3-1 lead. With two-out and two-on, first year Francesca Cirone (Tewksbury, Mass.) hit an infield single to bring home a run. Senior Olivia Barksdale (Fort Washington, Md.) followed with the big blow in the inning, a two-RBI triple to right center that scored a pair of runs. Barksdale finished the contest 1-for-3 with two RBI.

Griffin got one run back with an RBI single in the top of the second, but the Cougars took advantage of a leadoff walk in the bottom of the third, as first year Jessica Martin (Winthrop, Mass.) put down a single to make the score 4-2. Clark continued to lead by the two-run margin until the top of the sixth when the Blue seized control of the contest.

Brittingham doubled to lead off the inning, scoring when junior Kalei Oliver (Vista, Calif.) reached on an error. Oliver was lifted for pinch runner Lucy Cheskin (Mountain View, Calif.), before junior Autumn Brown (Marshfield, Mass.) walked and was replaced on the basepaths by first year Holly Chin (Newton, Mass.). A fielder's choice moved both runners into scoring position, where Moniz helped her own cause with an RBI single to tie the game. Griffin then capped the rally, clearing the bases with a three-run blast, her first home run of the season, to give the Blue a 7-4 lead.

Moniz did the rest, working around an error in the sixth and a walk in the seventh. Clark starter Taylor Erickson (Natick, Mass.) took the loss (3-7) in the circle, giving up seven runs (six earned) on nine hits and two walks in 6.0 innings of work.

Game 2 | Wellesley 5, Clark 4 | Final

After earning the victory in the circle in game one, Moniz hit a three-run blast in the top of the sixth inning in game two to help lift the Blue to a 5-4 win.

The Blue fell behind early again in game two, with Clark scoring a pair of runs off starter Caitlin Gordon (North Vancouver, BC, Canada) in the bottom of the first inning. With two outs and senior Kendra Walker (Cumberland, R.I.) on first, Martin doubled to the right centerfield gap to make the score 1-0. After a walk to Cirone, Barksdale drove in her second run of the day, singling through the right side to make the score 2-0.

The lead was short lived for the Cougars, as Wellesley manufactured a run in both the second and third innings to knot the score at 2-2. Brittingham singled to lead-off the second and made her way to third on an error. She later scored on an RBI single from first year Jill O'Shea (Moseley, Va.). Wellsley then tied the game in the next inning, when Brittingham doubled to score Hensch after the first year singled with two out in the inning. Brittingham finished game two 4-for-4 to lift her batting average to

Gordon cruised into the sixth inning, getting support from Moniz when she hit her first career home run with two-on and two-out in the top of the sixth. Gordon got the first out in the bottom of the fifth before the Cougars loaded the bases on back-to-back hits from Cirone and Barksdale and walk to junior Sarah Woods (Littleton, Mass.). Senior Sydney Hopper (Newcastle, Wash.) entered in relief, giving one run back with a walk and another on a wild pitch, but escaping the inning with a 5-4 lead.

Gordon pitched 5.1 innings, while striking out three, and was charged with four runs in her first collegiate victory (1-1). Hopper earned her third career save, pitching 1.2 innings of scoreless relief. Sophomore Isabella DiOrio (Lincoln, R.I.) was charged with the loss for Clark after giving-up two runs on four hits in 3.0 innings of work.

Wellesley will close out the NEWMAC regular season with a 3:00 PM doubleheader tomorrow at Coast Guard. Clark will take on non-conference Fitchburg State on Friday, April 26, at 3:00 PM.