Phillips and Graca Shine as Softball Takes Two From Westfield State

Cassie Graca
Cassie Graca

Westfield, MA --- Freshman Mackenzie Phillips (Gill, MA) allowed only three hits and struck out four in game one and freshman Cassie Graca (Somerset, MA) batted 4-for-5 with two stolen bases, two RBI and two runs scored in game two as WPI took two from Westfield State in a non-conference doubleheader Tuesday afternoon.

The Engineers (22-10) end the day on a 10-game winning streak as the Owls are now 11-15.

WPI scored in every inning in the opener. Sophomore Renee LeClaire (Merrimack, NH) drove in the only run the Crimson and Gray would need with a single. She later scored on a delayed double steal for the early 2-0 advantage. Senior Hope Shevchuk (Burlington, CT) pushed two across and LeClaire plated another in a three-run second. Senior Lindsay Gurska (Revere, MA) drove in sophomore Kylie Juarez (Elk Grove, CA) for the 6-0 lead after three. Junior RiAnna May (Westminster, CO) provided the seventh and eighth runs with a two-run jack to right center in the fourth as LeClaire lifted a sacrifice fly and junior Julia Veitch (Carlisle, MA) plated classmate Natalie Fabrizio (Hampstead, NH) in the fifth.

Senior Kristin Gallagher (Coventry, RI) and Gurska each logged a pair of hits while all of the starters recorded at least one. May homered as junior Ama Biney (Worcester, MA) and Gurska each doubled. LeClaire paced the club with three RBI followed by May and Shevchuk with two apiece. Graca and junior Katie Chagami (Waipahu, HI) were credited with sacrifice bunts and LeClaire connected on a sacrifice fly. Graca and LeClaire each swiped a base. Defensively, Shevchuk and Phillips turned a double play. Junior Casey Arpin (Uxbridge, MA) faced the last four batters of the contest.

Sophomore Maddie Keigwin (Sutton, MA) accounted for two hits to go with one each by senior Julia Sullivan (West Barnstable, MA) and junior Maddy Atkocaitis (Westfield, MA). Freshman Emily Woodnorth (Marlborough, MA) shouldered the loss for the Owls.

WPI took an early 1-0 lead in the nightcap behind a Chagami sacrifice fly in the second. Westfield State responded with a bases-loaded single by sophomore Bri Tortora (Worcester, MA) and took the lead when Keigwin was hit by a pitch in the home half of the frame.

The Engineers regained the lead in the third thanks to Graca's single up the middle and May's triple to right center. Gallagher later chased May home with a sacrifice fly for the 4-2 margin. The Owls then made it a 4-4 ballgame with home runs from Atkocaitis and senior Erika Gouin (Hampden, MA). It remained that way until Westfield scored three in the fifth. The first was on an RBI single by senior Emma Dunbar (Weymouth, MA) who eventually scored, along with Gouin, on a wild pitch.

The Boynton Hillers swung the scoreboard back in their favor with a four-run sixth. Freshman Leila Camplese (Tewksbury, MA) scampered home on a miscue put into play by Biney before LeClaire placed Shevchuk with a fielder's choice. LeClaire and Biney then came home on a 2 RBI double by May. WPI tacked on five insurance runs in the seventh, highlighted by a 2 RBI double by Biney. Graca pitched in with an RBI single followed by a run-producing double by LeClaire, who represented the final run of the game when she scored on an RBI single by May.

May batted 3-for-5 with a double, a triple, four RBI and a run scored while Gurska (3-for-4) also had three hits for the Engineers. LeClaire finished game two with a 2-for-5 day including a double, a stolen base, two RBI and two runs scored. Biney doubled, stole a base, drove in two and scored three times. Shevchuk crossed home plate twice. Junior Kelsey Saucier (Worcester, MA), Phillips (2 Ks) and Arpin each spent at least two innings in the circle for WPI.

Keigwin went 2-for-3 at the plate while Atkocaitis (2 runs), Gouin (3 runs), Dunbar and junior Michaela LeBlanc (Marblehead, MA) each batted 2-for-4. Sullivan struck out four in the first 5 1/3 while Leblanc spent the balance of the game in the circle for Westfield State.

WPI entertains Becker tomorrow for a 4pm doubleheader and the Owls skip over to Springfield for a 3:30pm start.