Arpin, Juarez & LeClaire Shine in Darkness Shortened Game to Secure Softball Split

Casey Arpin

Amherst, MA --- Junior Casey Arpin (Uxbridge, MA) scattered three hits over 4 2/3 in relief and sophomore Kylie Juarez (Elk Grove, CA) knocked in the game-winning run as WPI split a non-conference softball doubleheader Wednesday afternoon at Amherst. The Purple and White won the opener 7-5 and the Engineers held off the darkness for an 8-4 victory in five innings.

The twinbill was moved due to field conditions and the Crimson and Gray (7-7) served as the home team on the scoreboard. Amherst ended the day at 9-6.

Trailing 4-0 after a half inning, junior Nina Murphy-Cook (Roseville, CA) put the Engineers on the board when she scored on a two-out passed ball in the home half of the inning. WPI pulled within a run in the bottom of the second as junior Ama Biney (Worcester, MA) lifted a sacrifice fly to center and freshman Cassie Graca (Somerset, MA) followed with an RBI double.

Sophomore Renee LeClaire (Merrimack, NH) began the third with the first WPI home run of the season. Two batters later, Juarez doubled in the go-ahead run. Senior Hope Shevchuk (Burlington, CT) plated Juarez with a run-producing single to left before crossing the plate on a fielder's choice by Graca. Biney made it 8-4 with a single to left with two outs in the fourth.

After a leadoff single, Arpin and the Engineers defense closed the game with a fielder's choice, a swinging strikeout and a grounder to second.

Amherst began the game with back-to-back singles to set the stage for a 3-run blast by junior Ally Kido (San Jose, CA). Senior Alena Marovitz (Northbrook, IL) later scored on a miscue put into play by sophomore Annie Murphy (Austin, TX).

Murphy-Cook (SB) hit 3-for-4 with a run scored as LeClaire (HR, RBI, run) and Juarez (double, RBI, 2 runs) each batted 2-for-3. Biney (sac fly) added a pair of RBI. Shevchuk and junior RiAnna May (Westminster, CO) each scored twice. Arpin (3-0) struck out one and walked one in her third decision.

Senior Lauren Tuiskula (Leicester, MA) led off with a 2-for-3 game with an run scored. Marovitz went 2-for-2 with a double and Kido drove in three with her double. Sophomore Julia Turner (Kirkland, WA) stole a base in the effort. Sophomore Lorena Ukanwa (Morgan Hill, CA) and senior Jackie Buechler (San Diego, CA) combined to strike out seven batters.

WPI, who was down 7-3 heading into the bottom of the seventh in game one, had a chance to complete another comeback. Graca scampered home on a wild pitch and senior Kristin Gallagher (Coventry, RI) sent an RBI double to center to chase home junior Katie Chagami (Waipahu, HI), who was running for senior Lindsay Gurska (Revere, MA). The game eventually came to an end on an infield pop fly with a pair of runners in scoring position, including LeClaire who reached on a double.

Tuiskula began the scoring with a two-out RBI double to left in the second. LeClaire responded by leveling the game at 1-1 with a productive ground out. Shevchuk gave the Boynton Hillers the lead when she scored on a miscue. The pendulum swung back to the Purple and White with a two-run shot by Marovitz in the third. Murphy-Cook later evened it up at 3-3 on a double steal in the bottom of the fifth.

Sophomore Sara Buck (Honolulu, HI) put Amherst ahead for good with a round-tripper to center in the top of the sixth. Freshman Kate Kopatic (Houston, TX) used a sacrifice fly to score a second run in the inning. Marovitz followed with an RBI single for the 6-3 advantage. Buck connected for a key home run to center in the top of the seventh.

Gallagher batted 2-for-4 (double, triple) with an RBI and a run scored. LeClaire also went 2-for-4 as Murphy-Cook collected another stolen base to go with three from Biney, two from Juarez and one from Gurska. Junior Kelsey Saucier (Worcester, MA) struck out four in the start while senior Caroline Medino (Pompton Lakes, NJ) shouldered the decision in her season debut.

Buck batted 3-for-4 with two home runs, a pair of RBI and three runs scored. Tuiskula went 2-for-4 with a double, a walk, an RBI and a run scored. Kopatic hit 2-for-3 with a sacrifice fly, an RBI and a run scored. Marovitz chipped in with a 2-for-4 game with a home run, three RBI and a run scored. Murphy mixed in a double for Amherst. Junior Gina Pagan (Orinda, CA) fanned eight in the complete game victory.

WPI is scheduled to travel to No. 24 Springfield Friday for a 3pm NEWMAC set. Amherst begins a three-game NESCAC series with Hamilton Friday at 5pm.