Sports Women's Sports

Two Springfield single-season records broken in softball’s sweep over Wheaton

By Nick Pantages

Junior Alli Olsen and first-year Amelia DeRosa each broke single-season school records on Sat, April 29, in a Springfield sweep of Wheaton College. Olsen broke the record for sacrifice hits, and DeRosa the record for hits.

The Pride and head coach Kate Bowen also honored a trio of seniors on senior day, Mackenzie Doyle, Maggie Britt and Dana Serricchio.

“They are incredible people,” Bowen said. “They’ve overcome a lot and been phenomenal for us this year.”

The three seniors have all been valuable contributors for the Pride this season, with Doyle being a great hitter and base runner at the top of the Pride’s lineup, and Serricchio and Britt providing great defense at key positions – shortstop and centerfield respectively – while being pesky hitters at the bottom of the lineup.

In game one, after a Wheaton run in the top of the first, DeRosa doubled to set the single season hit record, her 70th hit of the season, breaking the 22 year old standing record of 69, established by Alison Gerrish in 2002.

“[DeRosa] works so hard. She’s always swinging, and swings at a lot of good pitches,” Bowen said.

The Pride scored three runs in the first two innings to take a 3-1 lead. DeRosa was driven in by a Michaela Ponticello single that just squeaked by the Wheaton second baseman in the first. In the second, DeRosa scored Serricchio with a bloop RBI single, and Carissa Pecchia followed with an RBI double.

In the third and fourth innings, Wheaton tagged Springfield pitcher Gillian Kane with RBI doubles to knot the score at three. In the bottom half of the fourth, the Pride exploded for six runs to take a commanding lead.

After a leadoff walk by Britt, Serricchio bunted to advance her, but Wheaton pitcher Sophie Knopf’s throw to first was wide left of first base, sneaking past Wheaton right fielder Jillian Rohon. Serricchio raced around the bases to score and give the Pride the lead for good.

Springfield then tacked on four more runs on a barrage of RBI singles to take a 9-3 lead.

“Hitting is contagious. Once we get started, everyone keeps it rolling,” Bowen said.

Wheaton scored in the top of the sixth inning to cut the Pride’s lead to five. In the bottom half, Olsen advanced pinch runner Ava Rainone on a sacrifice bunt, her 17th sacrifice hit of the season, setting a new school record.

“We need to make sure we can move runners and [Olsen] is the person that can do that,” Bowen said. “Sometimes the sacrifice is overlooked, but it’s so important for us and a big reason for our success.”

Two batters later Serricchio drove in Rainone, and Emily Gell shut the door with a clean seventh inning to give the Pride a 10-4 win.

In game two of the day, the Pride blew the game open early, scoring eight runs in the first inning.

The inning started with two singles and two walks, and the Pride already held a 1-0 lead when Kristen Acocella roped a double to the left-center gap to score two more.

With two outs, Britt and Serricchio hit back-to-back singles to score three more and extend the Pride’s lead to six.

Doyle then hit what should have been an inning ending groundout, but an error by Wheaton allowed a run to score and kept the inning alive. DeRosa scored Doyle one batter later with a double, her second hit of the inning, giving the Pride an 8-0 lead.

Bowen said, “Everyone has been on a bit of a hot streak, it’s been awesome.”

Both offenses were quiet until the fourth, where Wheaton got on the board with a Lindsey Oliveira solo home run, and an inning later Wheaton went yard again, with Burt connecting on a homer to cut the Pride’s lead to 8-2.

The Pride scored a run in the fifth, with Britt scoring on a Pecchia fielder’s choice. In the sixth, Acocella barely missed a home run and had to settle for a double, and Lucy Puskas drove her in with a double to secure a 10-2 win in six innings via the mercy rule.

The games ended the regular season for the Pride, who now shift their focus towards the NEWMAC tournament, which is expected to begin Wednesday. The Pride finished with a record of 33-7, and ended 14-4 in conference play.

“We just have to clean some communication stuff up in the field, but that will come and we will be ready for this week,” Bowen said.

Their 33 wins so far this season is tied for the second best in school history, and with a win in the tournament this week they could claim sole possession of second place.

Photo: Springfield College Athletics

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