WORCESTER -- WPI softball closed out the regular season schedule with a split against Bowdoin on Saturday at Rooftop Field as Renee LeClaire (Merrimack, NH) went 2 for 3 and drove in four RBI to singlehandedly slug the Engineers to an 8-3 win over the Polar Bears in the opener before they dropped a close 2-1 result in the nightcap.
LeClaire smacked a three-run home run to help the hosts pull away late in the first game, while senior RiAnna May (Westminster, CO) joined in the fun with a two-run homer of her own. Caraline Wood (Averill Park, NY) was the only WPI player to drive in runs in both games.
The Engineers move to 27-11 overall and will be the No. 2 seed in the NEWMAC Tournament after posting with a 15-3 conference record. The Crimson and Grey will be back at home at 4:30pm on Wednesday to take on either third-seeded Babson or No. 6 seed Emerson. Bowdoin (27-9) ventures to Williams for a noon doubleheader on Sunday,
Freshman Katie Martin (Bedford, NH) allowed two earned runs over four innings to pick up the win in the first game, while Nicole Kuberka (Los Angeles, LA) came on for a three-inning save, allowing just one hit. Kuberka also came on in relief of senior Kelsey Saucier (Worcester, MA) in the second game for a hitless 1-2/3 innings.
Bowdoin got on board first as Ali Miller (St. Paul, MN) drove in Maddie Rouhana (Falmouth, ME) with a base hit to right, but Martin then got the final out to escape a bases-loaded jam with minimal damage.
WPI took advantage of a pair of errors by the Polar Bears to go ahead for good with a five-run bottom of the third inning.
Ama Biney (Worcester, MA) walked and later stole home to tie it up at 1-1. Wood drove in the go-ahead run with a double to left center that brought home Marissa Gonzales (Oakley, CA) and then scored herself on a base hit by LeClaire on the next at bat. May capped the rally by sending a two-run shot over the right field fence to make it 5-1.
Bowdoin got back into the game in the fifth inning, closing it to 5-3 on a two-run single down the left field line by Lauren O'Shea (West Roxbury, MA). However, Kuberka came on and got three outs to help WPI out of another bases-loaded situation and retain the lead.
Gonzales doubled and Wood singled to start the bottom of the fifth and then LeClaire put the game away, making it 8-3, with a homer to right.
Biney (2 for 3) singled and then scored on a base hit by Wood in the third inning of the nightcap to put the Engineers ahead, 1-0, at the time.
O'Shea put the Polar Bears in front for good and set the final score with a two-run blast over the left field wall in the sixth inning.
Samantha Roy (Washington, D.C.) pitched Bowdoin to the victory in the nightcap, allowing one run over five innings before Kate Hoadley (Plainstow, NH) came on for a scoreless final two innings.