Martin, Phillips and Kuberka Total 18 Ks in Softball’s Shutouts at Clark

Katie Martin

WORCESTER – Freshman Katie Martin (Bedford, NH) spun a three-hit shutout with one walk and a season-best seven strikeouts in game one and sophomore Mackenzie Phillips (Gill, MA) fanned a season-best eight batters and went 5 1/3 before yielding the lone Clark hit in game two as WPI blanked the Cougars with identical 7-0 scores Thursday in a NEWMAC Softball doubleheader at O'Brien Field. Freshman Nicole Kuberka (Los Angeles, CA) struck out three in the final two innings.

Senior Nina Murphy-Cook (Roseville, CA), who entered the twinbill tied with Marshall's Elicia D'Orazio, took over the top spot as the active stolen base leader across all three NCAA divisions with her swipe of second in the fifth. The senior, who missed much of last year, ended the day with 161 career stolen bases

After three scoreless innings, WPI junior Caraline Wood (Averill Park, NY) walked to begin the fourth. Classmate Renee LeClaire (Merrimack, NH) and senior RiAnna May (Westminster, CO) followed with consecutive RBI triples and sophomore Cassie Graca (Somerset, MA) chipped in with a run-producing single for the 3-0 lead.

Murphy-Cook crossed home plate on a wild pitch after stealing base 158 and 159. Later in the fifth, Wood drove in a run for the 5-0 advantage. Freshman Marissa Gonzales (Oakley, CA) doubled in the final two runs in the sixth.

LeClaire totaled a pair of hits to go with two RBI by Gonzales (double, stolen base) and two runs scored by Murphy-Cook. Senior Ama Biney (Worcester, MA) stole two bases.

Freshman Jessica Urella (North Grafton, MA), sophomore Sarah Woods (Littleton, MA) and classmate Christina Kopacz (North Grosvenordale, CT) accounted for Clark's three hits. Senior Brenna Foley (Charlton, MA) started in the circle for the Cougars.

Gonzales knocked in the initial run of the second game with a single up the middle. Biney and LeClaire clubbed leadoff homers in the top of the third and fourth, respectively. Graca followed with an RBI double and later scored on a wild pitch for the 5-0 cushion through four.

May added a solo blast to center field to begin the sixth. Graca then tripled and scored thanks to a long single to center by senior Julia Veitch (Carlisle, MA).

Biney batted 3-for-4 with a home run, one RBI and a run scored. May (2-for-2) and Graca (double, triple) each recorded a pair of hits and combined to score four times.

Freshman Francesca Cocca (Tewksbury, MA) was the only Cougar to record a hit while Woods shared time in the circle with three others.

WPI (19-7, 9-1 NEWMAC) welcomes Coast Guard to Rooftop Field tomorrow for a 3:30pm doubleheader and Clark (5-15, 1-9 NEWMAC) travels to Springfield for a 3pm set.