BABSON PARK, Mass. – WPI junior Allie Hardy (West Townsend, Mass.) and Babson College sophomore Megan Brain (Pompton Plains, N.J.) exchanged brilliant pitching performances as the Engineers and Beavers split a New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) softball double-header at Babson’s alumni field on Sunday afternoon. WPI (11-7, 2-2 NEWMAC) won game one, 3-1, while Babson (10-10, 3-3 NEWMAC) took game two, 8-0, in five innings.
Hardy was magnificent in game one for WPI, allowing just one unearned run on two hits while walking one and striking out four. The only run she gave up came in the bottom of the third, beginning when junior Kayla Davis (Gardner, Mass.) drew a lead-off walk. First-year pinch-runner Sammy Kiley (Lynn, Mass.) then stole second and advanced to third on a throwing error, and, after Hardy retired the next two batters, sophomore Jackie Enos (Taunton, Mass.) came up with a clutch two-out RBI single to right that at the time evened the contest at 1-1.
The Engineers had taken a 1-0 lead in the top of the first, as first-year Juliana Fekete (Belgrade, Maine) doubled with one out and scored on an RBI single to right by sophomore Erin Beaulieu (Bethan, Conn.). After Babson tied it on Enos’ hit in the third, the Engineers regained the advantage when sophomore Katherine Fitton (Lebanon, Conn.) singled, moved to third on a double by first-year Nicole DeFelize (Acushnet, Mass.), and scored on a single up the middle by junior Allie Roche (Chelmsford, Mass.) in the fourth.
WPI capped the scoring in the fifth when first-year Nicole McDonough (Abington, Mass.) reached on an error and later scored on an RBI single up the middle by Fitton. That would be more than enough for Hardy, who improved her record to 2-1 with the complete-game victory.
First-year Tess Rubega (Norwich, Conn.) took the tough-luck loss in the opener for Babson, giving up just two earned runs on seven hits, walking one and striking out four.
The Beavers took their first lead of the doubleheader in the second inning of game two, scoring three runs after the first two batters were retired. First-year Sam Pilkington (Westborough, Mass.) scored the first run when she drew a two-out walk, stole second, and scored on a triple to right-center by first-year Katie Guido (Middleton, Mass.). Sophomore Breezy DiPietro (Essex, Mass.) then singled in Guido before stealing second and scoring on an RBI single to center by Enos.
Babson blew the game open with five more runs in the fourth,
beginning when Guido blasted a 3-2 pitch well over the wall in
left-center for her first collegiate home run. Junior captain
Nicole Latini (East Bridgewater, Mass.) later
drove in a run with a single, another run came home on a
fielder’s choice, and junior Lisa Wojnar (Bellaire,
Texas) and sophomore Ashleigh Phelps (West
Chester, Pa.) both added RBI hits to push the
Beavers’ lead to 8-0.
Brain (5-3) was outstanding on the mound in the nightcap for Babson, scattering five hits and two walks while fanning six in five scoreless innings. It was the first shutout of her collegiate career.
Junior Erin Flaherty (Stoughton, Mass.) started and took the loss in game two for WPI, dropping her record to 5-3 on the season.