On a beautiful Wednesday afternoon, the Pride kept the home crowd in high spirits with two decisive victories. The softball team swept MIT by scores of 9-0 and 8-0 in the two games. Both games were mercy rules.
In the first tilt of the doubleheader, the ladies had a strong pitching performance and timely hitting to power past the Engineers. Starting pitcher Jennifer Joseph pitched five shutout innings on one hit, and recorded seven strikeouts.
To support Joseph, the offense provided nine hits to go along with nine runs. In the bottom of the second inning the offense began to heat up for the Pride. Jenna Webb led off the inning with a home run, just getting over the center field fence.
Springfield continued on the attack later in the inning with two outs. Freshman Elizabeth Joseph singled, moved up to second on a wild pitch, and then Brittany Lally followed with a walk. Outfielder Ally Rivelli doubled to score Joseph.
The Pride ended the first game early in the bottom of the fifth. Webb singled to left, and after a walk by Breann Joyce, Chelsea Bender laid down a sacrifice bunt to advance the runners. Rivelli added another RBI with a single to left field to score Joyce. Kelly Blake finished the onslaught with an RBI single that knocked in Rivelli and Bender.
MIT’s Anna Christensen had the lone hit for the Engineers in the top of the fourth. The groundout to the pitcher, Joseph, was bobbled and Christensen beat out the throw.
The three errors that MIT committed also put them in a hole as the game went on.
The Pride quickly jumped right back into action in the second game. Junior Ashley Marino took the mound for Springfield and Ellie Fodor got the start for MIT.
Marino cruised in the first inning, allowing no hits. In the bottom of the first, the Pride got on the board. A leadoff double by Blake and sacrifice bunt from Christina Leader led to an RBI single by catcher Caitie Holik, which scored Blake.
The Pride could have done much more damage in the bottom half of the first, but they left the bases loaded.
Blake added to her contributions with a double in the second inning that scored Melissa Nelson.
Just like the first game, the women did a majority of their damage in the bottom of the fifth inning. Webb started off the inning with a dribbler just past home plate, and beat out the throw at first. Bender knocked in Webb with a base hit up the middle.
Freshman Katie Gill came into bat and hit a blooper over third base, producing two runs. Joyce and Bender both scored off Gill’s hit.
The bottom of the sixth inning was where the game came to a halt. Freshman Brielle Engelbrecht drew a walk to lead off the inning. After two quick outs, Taylor Page singled down the first base line. Bender sent a blooper to center, and Engelbrecht scored to mercy the Engineers and end the game.
The Pride had a very explosive offense with 12 hits. MIT did connect on some of Marino’s pitching, but none of the five hits made an impact.
Marino pitched five shutout innings, with three strikeouts and the five hits to go along with it. The junior right-hander was very pleased with the defense behind her pitching.
“Pitching-wise it was great. We had a great game plan and everyone playing together makes it that much easier,” Marino said.
“We definitely needed that. These NEWMAC wins are always good since the conference is really strong,” head coach Julie Perrelli added.
Before the doubleheader, the team was atop the NEWMAC at 8-2. Their overall record was at 16-16. Now, they are at 10-2 in the conference and 18-16 overall.
“If we continue to play our game, we will be in great shape,” Perrelli said.
The Pride are home again on Friday, April 19 as they take on Coast Guard for a doubleheader. To end their NEWMAC regular-season schedule, they will head to Wellesley on Saturday, April 20.