WORCESTER – Junior Mackenzie Phillips (Gill, MA) struck out nine in game one and senior Kylie Juarez (Elk Grove, CA) went 4-for-4, including the game-ending single, in game two as WPI swept Bridgewater State, 6-1 and 6-5, in a pair of non-conference softball games Wednesday evening on Rooftop Field.
With the win, the Engineers (25-7) reach 25 victories for the sixth straight season. The Bears end the evening 12-17.
Senior Renee LeClaire (Merrimack, NH) used a two-out double to chase home the initial run of the day in the first and drove in another with a two-out single in the third. Freshman Gabriella Cerbo (Middletown, NJ) then reached on a bases-clearing dropped fly ball for the 5-0 advantage through three. Freshman Lindsay Ambrosino (Chelmsford, MA), the reigning NEWMAC Co-Athlete of the Week, smacked a two-out home run to right center in the fourth.
Bridgewater State broke up the shutout thanks to a miscue on a double steal in the sixth.
Sophomore Marissa Gonzales (Oakley, CA) and LeClaire (2 RBI) both batted 2-for-3 and totaled three stolen bases. Phillips (14-2) did not allow an earned run on five hits and one walk in the triumph.
Senior Courtney Gouveia (Taunton, MA) was the lone Bear with a pair of hits. Freshman Kelley Reichert (Milford, MA) struck out two and did not issue a walk in the complete game effort.
After three scoreless innings, WPI put one on the board thanks to a wild pitch. Junior Samantha Mulcahey (Taunton, MA), freshman Megan Sharon (East Longmeadow, MA) and senior Jenny Heller (Taunton, MA) all singled in a run for the 3-1 Bridgewater lead in the sixth. Mulachey and Gouveia (double) each plated a run in the seventh, increasing the lead to 5-1.
WPI then loaded the bases thanks to a pair of singles and a walk. Ambrosino followed with a single to left to push the first Engineer across. After a rare foul out double play, senior Caraline Wood (Averill Park, NY) singled in a pair to cut the deficit to 5-4. Junior Cassie Graca (Somerset, MA) tied it up with a hit up the middle, setting the stage for Juarez's heroics.
Ambrosino and Gonzales each singled and doubled, and Wood accounted for a pair of RBI. Sophomore Katie Martin (Bedford, NH) struck out seven and did not allow a walk in 6 2/3; however, freshman Abigail O'Connor (Belle Mead, NJ) benefitted from the walk-off to improve to 2-2.
Mulcahey led the Bears with a 3-for-4, two stolen base and 2-RBI performance as Gouveia added a double. Junior Natalie Sorrenti (Bridgewater, MA) went the distance in the circle for Bridgewater State.
WPI hosts Wellesley Friday at 3:30pm and BSU is at Framingham State Friday at noon.