Graca and Ambrosino Help Lift Softball Past WSU; Goldstein Earns 200th Career Victory

Kaitlyn Hess

WORCESTER – Junior Cassie Graca (Somerset, MA) batted 3-for-3 in game one and freshman Lindsay Ambrosino (Chelmsford, MA) notched a trio of hits in game two as the WPI softball team defeated city rival Worcester State, 15-2 (5 inn.) and 8-0, Wednesday at Raymond Diamond.

In addition to extending their winning streak to six, the Engineers (16-6) delivered career win No. 199 and 200 for head coach Whitney Goldstein, who currently boasts a 176-66 record on Boynton Hill.

WPI accumulated 13 singles in a 15-hit effort in the opener. Graca doubled twice while senior Caraline Wood (Averill Park, NY), sophomore Nicole Kuberka (Los Angeles, CA) and freshman Taylor Ostrum (Tucson, AZ) each accounted for a pair. Kuberka led the way with three RBI, followed by Wood and sophomore Kaitlyn Hess (Milford, NH) with two. Junior Mackenzie Phillips (Gill, MA) and freshman Jess Evans (Grafton, MA) combined to strikeout seven while it was Phillips' third appearance in four games without issuing a walk.

Junior Ashley Lynch (Shrewsbury, MA) batted 2-for-3 while freshman Rachel Bigelow (Westborough, MA) and sophomore Sam Maglione (Lancaster, MA) each drove in a run. Freshman Molly Glynn (Abington, MA), sophomore Liv Larson (Marlborough, MA) and junior Carly Zielinski (Monson, MA) all made a pitching appearance for the hosts.

The Engineers began the scoring spree with an unearned run in the first. Later in the frame, Kuberka plated a pair for the 3-0 advantage. Four more touched home in the second behind an RBI double by Graca and singles by Wood, Kuberka and Ostrum. Senior Renee LeClaire (Merrimack, NH) used a productive ground out to make it an 8-0 ballgame in the third.

WPI dented the scoreboard five more times in the fourth as Hess and freshman Hailey McCasland (Wrentham, MA) sandwiched a pair of errors with run-producing singles. Bigelow broke up the shutout with a single and Maglione followed another RBI hit in the home half of the fourth. Hess chased Graca home with a fielder's choice and later scored as Wood drew a bases-loaded free pass.

Ambrosino (double, 2 stolen bases) and Wood (2-for-5, double) were each responsible for a pair of RBI in the second game. Sophomore Skylar O'Connell (North Attleboro, MA) also doubled while sophomore Marissa Gonzales (Oakley, CA) was credited with a sacrifice bunt and a stolen base. Kuberka and freshman Abigail O'Connor (Belle Mead, NJ) totaled five Ks in the three-hit shutout.

Junior Kaiulani Ennis (Swansea, MA), sophomore Ally Tocman (Shrewsbury, MA) and freshman Madi Lima (East Falmouth, MA) each accounted for a hit while senior Rachel Frisch (Worcester, MA) struck out three in the complete game for the Lancers.

A miscue and a single by Wood made it 2-0 after one. Ambrosino plated one before a miscue allowed two more Engineers to cross the dish in the fourth. Wood doubled and O'Connor used a fielder's choice for the 7-0 lead in the sixth. Ambrosino then closed out the evening with an RBI ground out in the top of the seventh.

WPI hosts Clark on Friday beginning at 3:30pm while Worcester State (2-18) concludes a homestand with a noon doubleheader versus Bridgewater State on Saturday.