Cambridge, MA --- Senior Renee LeClaire's (Merrimack, NH) sacrifice fly in the fourth proved to be the offensive difference in game two as WPI and nationally-ranked MIT split a critical NEWMAC softball doubleheader Wednesday at Briggs Field. MIT halted the Boynton Hiller's eight-game winning streak with an 8-2 victory in the opener while WPI claimed the second by a count of 2-1.
With the win, WPI (28-8, 16-2) collects its third regular season title in four years and will be the top seed in the upcoming NEWMAC tournament. In addition to hosting a twinbill next Wednesday (May 1), Rooftop Field will be busy May 3-5. MIT (23-8-1, 15-2-1), who is tied for 16th in the latest NFCA Top 25, will also be a host on Wednesday. Official pairings are slated to be announced tomorrow evening following the Babson-Coast Guard doubleheader.
Senior Caraline Wood (Averill Park, NY) gave WPI the 1-0 lead in the second game with a two-out home run in the top of the first. Junior Madi Pickett (Santa Barbara, CA) evened it up with a two-out RBI single in the third. LeClaire then lifted a 0-1 pitch to center, plating sophomore Marissa Gonzales (Oakley, CA) for the 2-1 margin.
The defense along with sophomore Katie Martin (Bedford, NH), who allowed one run on five hits and four walks and struck out three in the complete-game victory, enjoyed a pair of 1-2-3 innings in the fifth and sixth before MIT stranded a runner in scoring position in the seventh. Wood was responsible for two of the guest's hits, in the form of a double and home run, while Gonzales had the other. Junior Cassie Graca (Somerset, MA), meanwhile, chipped in with a sacrifice bunt.
Junior Devon Goetz (Rockville, MD) had a pair of hits and stolen bases for MIT. Sophomore Colleen Campbell (Snoqualmie, WA) yielded one earned run on three hits and a walk, and struck out three, in the complete-game effort.
Pickett used a two-out bases-loaded walk to push home the first run of the day in the bottom of the first. Senior Kylie Juarez (Elk Grove, CA) answered with a two-out RBI single in the top of the second. MIT went on to plate four in the fourth, including RBI singles by junior Sierra Rosenzweig (Anchorage, AK), Goetz and freshman Julia Chatterjee (Hinsdale, IL). The hosts added another thanks to a run-producing single by rookie Olivia Lucchese (Camarillo, CA) in the fifth.
A miscue led to a WPI run in the top of the sixth; however, junior Michelle Wist (Cypress, TX) sent a two-run home run over the fence in center in the home half of the frame.
Gonzales and Juarez each delivered a hit to go with another sacrifice bunt by Graca. Junior Mackenzie Phillips (Gill, MA) struck out three and freshman Abigail O'Connor (Belle Mead, NJ) struck out a pair.
Chatterjee, junior Sarah Von Ahn (West Linn, OR), Wist (home run) and Rosenzweig each had two hits including doubles by Von Ahn and Wist. Ravenne Nasser allowed one earned run on two hits and five walks, and fanned four, in the complete game for MIT.
WPI is off until Wednesday while MIT hosts Endicott Friday beginning at 3pm.