Medford, MA --- Senior Caraline Wood (Averill Park, NY) was 4-for-4 with a triple, a home run and three RBI while sophomore Marissa Gonzales (Oakley, CA) batted 3-for-4 with a double and a triple as WPI eliminated St. Joseph (CT), 12-3 (5 inn.), from the 2019 NCAA Division III Softball Championship in game four of the Medford Regional. The Engineers were then ousted by Tufts as junior Casey Maggiore's (North Hampton, NH) two-out RBI double in the bottom of the sixth proved to be the difference as the Jumbos overcame a 3-0 deficit and claimed the 4-3 victory in game five Saturday at Spicer Field.
Tufts (32-9) moves on to face Eastern Connecticut Sunday for the regional title while WPI finishes 33-11 and St. Joseph (CT) concludes its season with a 27-19 ledger. It is the fourth time in six years the Engineers have racked up 30 or more wins for head coach Whitney Goldstein.
Junior Cassie Graca (Somerset, MA) and sophomore Kaitlyn Hess (Milford, NH) sandwiched a sac fly off the bat of senior Kylie Juarez (Elk Grove, CA) with RBI knocks to take the initial 3-0 lead in the top of the first versus Tufts. Junior Emily Serata (Voorhees, NJ) later cut the deficit to one with a line drive double to right field in the bottom of the fourth. Classmate Maria Ostapovich (Fort Collins, CO) went on to level the game at 3-3 with a hit up the middle in the fifth.
Wood (double) and senior Renee LeClaire (Merrimack, NH) each batted 2-for-4 with a run scored. Freshman Lindsay Ambrosino (Chelmsford, MA) and Juarez registered sacrifice hits and Graca stole a base. Sophomore Katie Martin (Bedford, NH) and junior Mackenzie Phillips (Gill, MA) each struck out a batter and did not allow a walk for WPI.
Serata was 3-for-3 with a double and pair of RBI as Maggiore finished 3-for-4 with a double and senior Kristen Caporelli (Taunton, MA) batted 2-for-4 with a double. Sophomore Kristina Haghdan (Pelham, NH) struck out three in the complete-game victory.
Gonzales doubled and was chased home by Wood's triple in the first for the early lead over the Blue Jays in the Engineers first game of the afternoon. An infield miscue led to the first two runs of the second. Two more scampered home on a wild pitch and Wood launched a no-doubt-about it rocket to dead center field (220-plus feet).
Another miscue allowed the Engineers to claim the 7-0 lead in the third. Freshman Hailey McCasland (Wrentham, MA) had a productive ground out and Ambrosino singled through the left side to make it 9-0 after 2 ½. USJ freshman Julia Annecchiarico (Ludlow, MA) broke up the shutout with a two-out two-run double to right, that initially appeared to be caught at the warning track, in the bottom of the third.
Ambrosino added another with an RBI courtesy of a dropped popup in the fifth. Gonzales and Wood followed with run-producing singles for the 12-2 advantage. Annecchiarico plated the final run with an RBI single in the bottom of the fifth.
Ambrosino added a pair of RBI while Hess and McCasland each registered a sacrifice hit. Graca led the stolen base parade with a pair to go with one each by Ambrosino, Hess and McCasland. Sophomore Skylar O'Connell (North Attleboro, MA) went 1-for-1 after taking over behind the dish in the bottom of the fourth. Phillips allowed two runs on five hits with six strikeouts and zero walks in four innings and freshman Abigail O'Connor (Belle Mead, NJ) finished the game in the circle for WPI.
Junior Amira Sharon (Tolland, CT) was 3-for-3 and Annecchiarico was 2-for-2 with a double and three RBI for the Blue Jays. Senior Kara Klimaszewski (Naugatuck, CT) chipped in with a sacrifice. Sophomore Alessandra Milardo (Plantsville, CT) was in the circle for the first two innings before handing the ball to Annecchiarico.