WORCESTER – Junior Renee LeClaire (Merrimack, NH) ended the opener early with a 2-RBI triple and classmate Caraline Wood (Averill Park, NY) batted 3-for-4 featuring two doubles and what proved to be the game-winning home run in game two as WPI swept Coast Guard, 11-3 (6 inn.) and 8-3, in a NEWMAC Softball doubleheader on Rooftop Field.
The Engineers improve to 21-7 overall and 11-1 in NEWMAC action while the Bears dip to 16-8 and 7-5.
WPI enjoyed a 5-0 lead through the first four innings of the day. Senior Ama Biney (Worcester, MA) began the bottom of the first with a blast to left field and freshman Marissa Gonzales (Oakley, CA) scored on a miscue for the 2-0 advantage. Wood lifted a sacrifice fly to left for a run in the third. Sophomore Cassie Graca (Somerset, MA) touched home on a miscue and senior Nina Murphy-Cook (Roseville, CA) plated an unearned run with a single to short in the fourth.
The Bears made it 5-2 when senior Emma Hvozdovich (Palm Harbor, FL) sent a two-run homer to left with two outs in the fifth. WPI then increased its cushion with four more in the home half. Graca sent an RBI single up the middle and freshman Skylar O'Connell (North Attleboro, MA) contributed with a sacrifice fly before senior Julia Veitch (Carlisle, MA) smacked a two-run shot to left.
Senior Casey Cruzpino (Ft. Lauderdale, FL) drove in the third Bear run in the top of the sixth. With one out in the bottom of the stanza, Gonzales and Wood each singled to set the stage for LeClaire to end the game.
Murphy-Cook led the way with three hits to go with a pair from Biney, Gonzales (double), Wood, LeClaire (triple) and Graca (triple). Sophomore Kayla Sowers (Rocklin, CA) batted 2-for-2 with a double and a run scored for Coast Guard. Classmate Audrey Bartz (Arlington, VA) and junior Emily Hogan (Pittsburgh, PA) also had a hit for the guests.
The Bears benefitted from a pair of unearned runs to own the 2-1 edge after a full inning in the nightcap. Wood drove in the Engineers first run with a two-out double to right.
WPI went ahead with three unearned in the second and added two more in the third as Wood led with a home run to center and sophomore Leila Camplese (Tewksbury, MA) doubled in the other. Wood doubled and LeClaire singled as each drove in a run on consecutive two-out plate appearances in the fourth.
Sowers, who accounted for two of the Bears four hits, used a two-out double to plate the final run of the day in the top of the sixth.
Sophomore Mackenzie Phillips (Gill, MA) allowed one earned run on four hits and three walks, and struck out three, in 6 1/3 for WPI. Freshman Kaitlyn Hess (Milford, NH) faced the final three batters of the evening.
The Engineers head to Smith and Bears are at Wellesley tomorrow for noon NEWMAC twinbills.