This release is courtesy of WPI Sports Information.
WORCESTER, Mass - NEWMAC Softball Championship
Game 9: #4 Babson vs. #1 WPI | Babson def. WPI 1-0
Freshmen Jacqueline Paul (Burlington, NJ) drove in the game-winning run and Brooke Stock (Fort Lauderdale, FL) struck out eight in a complete-game victory as fourth-seeded Babson eliminated host and top-seeded WPI from the 2017 NEWMAC Softball Championship, 1-0 (8 inn.), Thursday evening on Rooftop Field.
Babson (26-13), who is fifth in the NCAA Regional Rankings that were released earlier today, moves on to face second-seeded Springfield for the potential championship game which began around 7:40pm. WPI (29-13), the sixth team on the regional roll, now awaits Monday's 1pm selection show on NCAA.com to see if the season continues.
Junior Samantha Smith (Hillsborough, NJ) opened the eighth with a leadoff single before moving to second thanks to a sacrifice bunt by freshman Annie Mitchell (Rehoboth, MA). Smith then scored on a single up the middle by Paul. The Beavers had the bases loaded but were unable to get another run home due to a tag 'em out, throw 'em out double play by WPI senior Hope Shevchuk (Burlington, CT) and sophomore Renee LeClaire (Merrimack, NH) to get out of the inning. The Engineers were off to a good start in the home half of the frame as junior RiAnna May (Westminster, CO) doubled; however, a pair of infield ground outs and a strikeout ended the game.
Stock allowed seven hits and three walks as WPI senior Caroline Medino (Pompton Lakes, NJ) yielded eight hits and zero walks while striking out five in 7 1/3. Junior Kelsey Saucier(Worcester, MA) induced the double play ball to escape the eighth.
Babson was led at the plate by sophomore Ashley Tango (Reading, MA) who batted 3-for-3 with a double while Mitchell's sacrifice bunt was a factor in the winning run.
Senior Kristin Gallagher (Coventry, RI) and freshman Cassie Graca (Somerset, MA) each batted 2-for-4 to go along with a hit and walk senior Lindsay Gurska (Revere, MA) and junior Ama Biney (Worcester, MA). Gurska tripled and May doubled while Biney and Graca each stole a base in the effort.
Each side had their chances as 80 percent of the runners left on base were in scoring position. In all, WPI amassed 10 abandoned runners and Babson totaled five.
Game 10: #4 Babson vs. #1 WPI | Babson def. Springfield 5-3 (11 Innings)
Babson sophomore Ashley Tango (Reading, MA) snapped a 3-3 stalemate in the top of the 11th inning as the fourth-seeded Beavers forced a winner-take-all final with a 5-3 triumph over second-seeded Springfield in the 2017 NEWMAC Softball ChampionshipFriday night on Rooftop Field.
Babson (27-13), who eliminated top-seeded WPI earlier in the evening, and the Pride (32-8) will meet again on a day and time this weekend, which will be determined by the institutions in consultation with the conference office. The winner of that game will also earn the NEWMAC automatic berth in the NCAA Division III Softball Championship field.
Tied at 3-3 since the sixth inning, Babson broke through with a pair in the 11th. With two outs, senior Leslie Moore (Atkinson, NH) singled to left and freshman Jacqueline Paul(Burlington, NJ), who was on courtesy of the international tiebreaker which came into play beginning in the 10th, advanced to third. Tango followed with an infield RBI single to plate the go-ahead run. Freshman Victoria Casey (Emerson, NJ) added a pinch-hit run producing single to put the Beavers up 5-3. Springfield was retired in order in the bottom of the 11th in the form of a sacrifice bunt and two swinging strikeouts.
Babson junior Ali Reilly (New Canaan, CT) and Springfield junior Talia Loda (East Haven, CT), an NFCA Division III National Player of the Year finalist, pitched all 11 innings for their respective teams. Reilly (12-7) allowed three runs on 10 hits and two walks while striking out 10 in her 12th win of the year while Loda (19-3) surrendered three earned runs on 16 hits and three walks to go with six punchouts in only her third loss.
The Beavers scored an unearned run in the top of the first as freshman Kayla Schinik(Watchung, NJ) came home on a hit to center by Moore. With a pair of runners in scoring position and one out, Springfield Freshman Allie Wheeler (Agawam, MA) launched a three-run shot to left center.
It remained 3-1 until a trio of two-out singles in the top of the sixth made it a one-run game following an RBI knock by Paul. Sophomore Josephine Mares (Houston, TX) followed with a seeing-eye-single through the right side to even the game at 3-3. Springfield junior Kayla Padroff (Southington, CT) then snagged a rising line drive to avoid further damage.
Mares (4-for-6, RBI), Moore (3-for-4, walk, run), Tango (2-for-6, RBI), junior Samantha Smith (Hillsborough, NJ) (2-for-4, walk, double, run) and freshman Annie Mitchell(Rehoboth, MA) (2-for-4, walk, run) accounted for 13 of Babson's 16 hits in the contest. Schinik and freshman Tori Roche (Andover, MA) each laid down a sacrifice bunt as Schinik also stole a base.
Loda looked to help her own cause with a 2-for-4 night at the plate with a double, two sacrifice bunts and a run scored. Junior Rachel Ball (Coventry, RI) and freshman Jen Slane(Tolland, CT) each batted 2-for-5 as Wheeler was all over the box score with a home run, a walk, three RBI and a run scored. Junior Carianna Gasdia (Wakefield, MA) added a sacrifice bunt and a stolen base. Freshman Alexyss Conley (Bloomingburg, NY) was a part of two double plays inning-ending double plays while Padroff helped end the first, and sophomore Sam Cox (Longmeadow, MA) and senior Alicia Pavadore (Taunton, MA) pitched in at the end of the third.