Graca Shines in Softball's Win Over Franklin (IN); No. 2 St. John Fisher Walks Off in Rematch

Graca Shines in Softball's Win Over Franklin (IN); No. 2 St. John Fisher Walks Off in Rematch

Kissimmee, FL --- Freshman Cassie Graca (Somerset, MA) was a perfect 3-for-3 for No. 11 WPI in a 10-2 (5 inn.) win over Franklin (IN) while No. 2 St. John Fisher walked off with a 3-2 triumph in a rematch of the nationally-ranked teams Thursday at the Citrus Games.

The Engineers (5-3) jumped on the scoreboard early against St. John Fisher, who were coming off the wrong end of a walk-off versus No. 15 Coe. Junior Nina Murphy-Cook (Roseville, CA) and Graca reached on consecutive singles. With runners on the corners, Graca stole second and advanced to third on a miscue that also enabled Murphy-Cook to cross home plate. Junior Ama Biney (Worcester, MA) chased the rookie home with a single to left. The Cardinals took advantage of an RBI ground out in the bottom of the first and evened the game in the third with a leadoff home run.

After 4 1/3, St. John Fisher went back to their All-American pitcher, who fanned 13 in the matchup the other day. She added six more in a hitless 2 2/3 and picked up the win. Junior Casey Arpin (Uxbridge, MA) yielded the first two runs on six hits over five innings before handing the ball to classmate Kelsey Saucier (Worcester, MA), who retired the first three batters she faced. The Cardinals manufactured the winning run with a single to left, a sacrifice bunt and an RBI single up the middle.

Murphy-Cook and Graca accounted for two of the Engineers four hits while each also stole a base.

The opener saw the Boynton Hillers dispatch Franklin in six innings. Joining Graca with multiple hits were Murphy-Cook, junior Natalie Fabrizio (Hampstead, NH), senior Kristin Gallagher (Coventry, RI), sophomore Kylie Juarez (Elk Grove, CA) and freshman Leila Camplese (Tewksbury, MA) with two apiece. Graca drove in two runs as Murphy-Cook, Biney, Juarez and Camplese each touched home twice. Fabrizio doubled while Murphy-Cook (2), Graca, Juarez and Camplese each swiped a base. Junior Julia Veitch (Carlisle, MA), Juarez and junior Katie Chagami (Waipahu, HI) were all credited with a sacrifice. Freshman Mackenzie Phillips (Gill, MA) yield two runs on six hits and fanned five in the victory.

Franklin struck first with a two-out double to left center. WPI responded in the bottom of the first thanks to a fielding miscue and a ground out as Biney and senior Lindsay Gurska (Revere, MA) each collected an RBI. The Grizzlies evened it up with a two-out hit down the left field line in the second.

Camplese drove in the game-winning run with a first-pitch single up the middle and later came home on a Murphy-Cook RBI ground out in the second. Between those scoring plays, Juarez stole home as part of a double steal. Graca then delivered two on a single through the left side in the bottom of the fourth. Fabrizio's double produced a run in the fifth while she scored on a Juarez RBI single to left. Chagami ended the game with a run-producing single through the left side of the infield.

The Engineers (5-3) wrap up their trip tomorrow after facing No. 15 Coe at 11am and St. Joseph's (ME) at 1:15pm. Today's St. John Fisher game and tomorrow's matchup with Coe were highlighted as Notable DIII Games by the NFCA (more info).

Click HERE if the video does not appear below