Kissimmee, FL --- Senior Nina Murphy-Cook (Roseville, CA) exceeded 200 career hits while classmate RiAnna May (Westminster, CO), junior Renee LeClaire (Merrimack, NH) and freshman Marissa Gonzales (Oakley, CA) each logged a pair of hits in both games as WPI defeated Simmons 8-6 and Ohio Northern 9-5 Friday at the Sunkissed Softball Games.
The Engineers move to 7-3 on the year while Simmons slips to 1-6 and Ohio Northern is now 7-2.
Murphy-Cook collected her 200th career hit in the earlier of two plate appearances in the first inning versus Ohio Northern.
Simmons claimed the initial lead before Gonzales doubled in a run and junior Caraline Wood (Averill Park, NY) sent an RBI single up the middle for the 2-1 advantage after an inning. The Sharks regained the lead with a pair in the top of the second. Wood added another run-producing hit to even the game at 3-3 in the third.
WPI went up by a run with a two-out RBI triple by LeClaire in the fifth. Simmons once again countered with a pair of runs. The Crimson and Gray doubled its run total in the sixth behind RBI singles by senior Ama Biney (Worcester, MA), Murphy-Cook and May, as well as a passed ball.
The Sharks began the seventh with a home run; however, freshman Nicole Kuberka (Los Angeles, CA) came in and shut the door with a pair of ground outs and a strikeout looking.
Biney and Wood also collected a pair of hits as Biney, May and sophomore Cassie Graca (Somerset, MA) each stole a pair of bases. All four pitchers saw action with freshman Katie Martin (Bedford, NH) earning the win and Kuberka collecting the save.
WPI came out swinging in the second game and put up five right away. LeClaire led the uprising with a sacrifice fly. May followed with a 2-RBI knock. Senior Julia Veitch (Carlisle, MA) drove in the fourth run while Biney was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded.
Ohio Northern chipped away at its deficit with one in the first, two in the third and one in the fourth. WPI pulled away again as Veitch plated a run in the fifth, LeClaire connected on a two-run shot in the sixth, and Gonzales singled in the sixth. The Polar Bears put up a final run in the bottom of the seventh with a sacrifice fly.
Murphy-Cook (2 SB) and Veitch amassed two hits each as Biney also swiped two bases. Senior Kelsey Saucier (Worcester, MA) collected her first win of the campaign.
The Engineers head back to New England after taking on TCNJ and Centenary (NJ) tomorrow morning. First pitch is set for 9am.