SPRINGFIELD, Mass. -- No. 6 Wellesley College softball defeated No. 3 Wheaton College, 2-1, in their opening game, but fell to host No. 2 Springfield College, 5-0, in game two on the opening day of the 2017 New England Women's & Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) Softball Championship at Springfield College's Potter Field. The victory over Wheaton was the 300th in the career of Wellesley Head Coach Keri O'Meara in Wellesley softball program history.
Wellesley is now 18-11 on the season and 1-1 in the double elimination format. The Blue will play WPI in an elimination game at 1:00 PM on Saturday, April 29, at WPI's Rooftop Field. Wheaton drops to 17-16 on the year, while Springfield is now 31-7 on the season.
Game One: Wellesley 2, Wheaton 1
Junior Julia Warner (Kenmore, Wash.) pitched a complete game, surrendering just five hits and no earned runs and striking out four, as Wellesley defeated Wheaton, 2-1, to open the NEWMAC Championship with a victory.
Warner improved to 7-3 on the season, winning a pitcher's duel with Wheaton senior Danielle Cimino (Cumberland, Maine) in a game where all three runs that crossed the plate were unearned. Cimino took the loss (11-7), as she also pitched seven innings and held the Blue to four hits while striking out three.
Senior Ashtyn Coleman (Scottsdale, Ariz.) went 2-for-4 with a double to lead Wellesley. Sophomore Veronica Locher (Walnut Creek, Calif.) also dropped down a double and senior Kendra Coleman (Scottsdale, Ariz.) added a base hit.
Jessica Cochrane (Walpole, Mass.) went 2-for-3 to lead the Lyons. Seniors Mary DeMoura (Boston, Mass.) and Rebecca Seifert (Franklin, Mass.) and sophomore Chloe Woodward (Bellingham, Mass.) also picked-up base hits for Wheaton.
The Lyons got the first run of the game on a Wellesley miscue in the bottom of the first inning, scoring on a dropped third strike when DeMoura made her way to the plate following an errant throw to first. The Lyons held the lead until the top of the fourth inning when the Blue took advantage of a throwing error by Wheaton to pull ahead 2-1.
With two outs and Kalei Oliver (Vista, Calif.) on first after reaching on a fielder's choice, sophomore Veronica Locher (Walnut Creek, Calif.) placed a double into the left center field gap. As Olivier raced from first to third, the relay throw from the Lyons sailed past the third base bag and into the Wellesley dugout, allowing Oliver to score and Locher to score when she was awarded home.
From their, Warner shut down the Lyons, escaping a bases loaded jam in the bottom of the fourth, recording a 1-2-3 bottom of the fifth inning, and pitched around an error in the bottom of the sixth inning. Cimino was just as impressive over the final three innings of her outing, surrendering just one hit in the late innings, while working around a walk and an error in the top of the sixth inning. Warner hit a batter in the bottom of the second, but was never in trouble, as she set down the Lyons to secure the win.
Game Two: Springfield 8, Wellesley 0 (6 innings)
Junior starting pitcher Talia Loda (East Haven, Conn.) scattered four hits over six shutout innings to improve to 18-2 on the season, as Springfield stormed to an 8-0 victory over the Blue in six innings in the nightcap.
Junior infielder Kirsten Drobiak (Griswold, Conn.), was 2-for-3 with three RBIs and two runs scored to lead the Pride, who will play No. 4 Babson College in their next game at 5:00 PM on Saturday at WPI. Junior outfielder Carianna Gasdia (Wakefield, Mass.) was a perfect 3-for-3 with three runs scored. First year Jen Slane (Tolland, Conn.) and sophomore Sam Cox (Longmeadow, Mass.) each added two hits and an RBI for Springfield.
Senior Kendra Coleman added two more hits in game two, while classmate Anna Pisac (Snohomish, Wash.) and first year Autumn Brown (MArshfield, Mass.) each recorded singles. Junior Madeline Bianchi (Lakeville, Minn.) dropped to 5-6 with the decision, giving up 11 hits and five earned runs in five innings.
Slane singled down the left field line to start the scoring in the bottom of the first inning, as the Pride would go on to go up 2-0 before the end of the inning when first year Alexyss Conley (Bloomingburg, N.Y.), scored Gasdia with a single to right.
The Pride doubled their lead in the bottom of the third inning thanks to Drobiak, as the Springfield junior hit an opposite field two-run blast to right after Gasdia reached base on a hit-by-pitch earlier in the frame. The Pride left three on-base to end the inning, as the Blue escaped the danger. However, it was Drobiak that would again drive in the next run of the game with an RBI single to make the score 5-0 in the bottom of the sixth inning. Springfield would tack on three more runs in the inning, ending the game when Kayla Padroff (Southington, Conn.) delivered an RBI single through the left side to score Conley.
2017 NEWMAC Softball Championship
Day 1 – Friday, April 28, 2017
Game #1 – No. 4 Babson def. No. 5 MIT, 1-0
Game #2 – No. 6 Wellesley def. No. 3 Wheaton, 2-1
Game #3 – No. 4 Babson def. No. 1 WPI, 4-1
Game #4 – No. 2 Springfield def. No. 6 Wellesley, 8-0
Day 2 – Saturday (at WPI) April 29, 2017
Game #5 – No. 5 MIT vs. No. 3 Wheaton – 11:00 a.m.
Game #6 – No. 1 WPI vs. No. 6 Wellesley – 1:00 p.m.
Game #7 – Winner of Game #5 vs. Winner of Game #6 – 3:00 p.m.
Game #8 – No. 4 Babson vs. No. 2 Springfield – 5:00 p.m.
Day 3 – Saturday (at highest remaining seed) May 6
Game #9 – Winner of Game #7 vs. Loser of Game #8 – 12:00 p.m.
Game #10 – Winner of Game #8 vs. Winner of Game #9 – 2:00 p.m.
Day 4 – Sunday (at Day 3 site if necessary) May 7
Game #11 – Winner of Game #10 vs. Loser of Game #10 (if necessary) – 1:00 p.m