Team Effort Highlights Softball’s Game Two Comeback in DH Sweep of Wheaton

Katie Chagami

WORCESTER – Freshman Brittany Bolster (North Kingstown, RI) was one of three Engineers to bat 2-for-3 in game one and junior Renee LeClaire (Merrimack, NH) went 3-for-3 with a double in game two as WPI topped Wheaton, 6-3 and 9-4, Saturday in a NEWMAC Softball doubleheader on Rooftop Field.

The Engineers are now 15-5 on the season, 5-1 against NEWMAC teams and tied with MIT atop the leaderboard. Wheaton dips to 4-12 and 2-4.

Senior Ama Biney (Worcester, MA) led off the bottom of the first with a home run. Wheaton pulled even in the second courtesy of a wild pitch. The Lyons looked to plate another but the runner was caught in a rundown for the second out. WPI freshman Skylar O'Connell (North Attleboro, MA) then sent the ball over the shortstop into left field to drive in a run in the bottom of the second.

With two outs in the third, freshman Marissa Gonzales (Oakley, CA) singled in a run and came home on a stand up triple by LeClaire. Senior RiAnna May (Westminster, CO) followed with an infield RBI knock for the 5-1 advantage through three.

Each side dented the scoreboard in the fourth as Wheaton junior Emily Schlapak (Dover, NH) homered to center and the Engineers benefitted from a miscue. The inning came to a close in rather historic fashion as Biney was caught stealing for the first time in her collegiate career. The local product had been successful on the previous, and Division III record 98 attempts. Schlapak cut the deficit to three with an RBI hit up the middle in the sixth.

Biney (HR, stolen base), LeClaire (triple, stolen base), May (double, stolen base) and Bolster each had a pair of hits. Gonzales also swiped a bag. Senior Kelsey Saucier (Worcester, MA) improved to 6-1 on the season, and 3-0 on the week, in a five-inning effort while freshman Nicole Kuberka (Los Angeles, CA) finished the game for WPI.

Schlapak (double, HR, 2 RBI) recorded three of Wheaton's five hits. Sophomore Jade Assad (Lambertville, NJ) doubled and scored twice while sharing pitching duties with senior starter Allison Cox (Torrance, CA).

LeClaire laced a two-out RBI double to left to begin the scoring in the second game. Junior Shelbi Wilson (Peabody, MA) and Assad then used consecutive doubles to even the contest in the top of the second. The Engineers regained the lead when sophomore Cassie Graca (Somerset, MA) scored on a miscue.

Wheaton took the 4-2 lead in the fourth behind a WPI wild pitch and two bases-loaded walks. A wild pitch in the bottom of the fourth allowed freshman Erika Wentz (Nashua, NH), who was running for senior Julia Veitch (Carlisle, MA), to get the Engineers within one. Sophomore Leila Camplese (Tewksbury, MA) knotted the game at 4-4 with an RBI single in the fifth.

The Engineers went ahead for good when Gonzales' hit dropped in center field and a miscue helped two runners score in the sixth. Gonzales eventually crossed the dish courtesy of a wild pitch and May followed with a two-run shot to center.

Gonzales and Assad recorded a pair of hits for their respective clubs. LeClaire and Veitch doubled to go along with May's round-tripper. Senior Nina Murphy-Cook (Roseville, CA) led the way with a pair of stolen bases. Biney, Gonzales, LeClaire and Graca were also successful on the base paths.

Freshman Kaitlyn Hess (Milford, NH) surrendered one earned run and struck out three in the start. Kuberka yielded one hit and struck out a pair in the relief win. Wilson absorbed the decision and Assad faced the final two Engineer batters of the day.

Seniors Katie Chagami (Waipahu, HI), who represented the go-ahead run in the nightcap, and Natalie Fabrizio (Hampstead, NH) also took the field for WPI.

The Engineers host Westfield State Wednesday at 3:30pm while the Lyons entertain Rhode Island College Tuesday at 3pm.