BABSON PARK, Mass. -- Clark University earned a key doubleheader
sweep of Babson College in New England Women's and Men's Athletic
Conference (NEWMAC) softball action at Babson's Alumni Field on
Sunday afternoon, as the Cougars won both games by a score of 4-3.
With the sweep, Clark improves to 12-8 overall and 4-2 in
conference play, while the Beavers drop to 11-13 overall and 3-5 in
Playing as the home team in both contests, Clark jumped out to a quick 3-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning of game one, beginning when first-year Maya Allen (Concord, Mass.) drew a walk and sophomore Mel Melkonian (Worcester, Mass.) singled to left. First-year Tatiana Chunis (Sutton, Mass.) then drove in both runners with a double to right-center and, two batters later, she crossed the plate on a single to right by junior Maureen Coakley (Worcester, Mass.).
The Cougars added what would prove to be the decisive run in the bottom of the second, as junior Meghan Lennon (Charlton, Mass.) led off with a double, moved to third on a sac bunt by junior Stefanie Kettenacker (Hasings-On-Hudson, N.Y.), and later scored on a one-out double to right-center by Melkonian.
Babson finally broke through in the top of the third, scoring three runs to pull to within one. First-year pinch-runner Sammy Kiley (Lynn, Mass.) scored on an error for the Beavers' first run, sophomore Jackie Enos (Taunton, Mass.) drove in junior Kayla Davis (Gardner, Mass.) with the second run, and sophomore Catie Funk (Scarborough, Maine) plated junior Jess Pashos (Winchester, Mass.) with a triple to right for the third Babson run. However, the Beavers ran in to three outs in the frame, allowing senior starting pitcher Sarah Carter (Worcester, Mass.) to escape the inning with the lead.
That would prove to be all Carter would allow, as she went seven innings and allowed three runs on eight hits, walked two and struck out one. The win improved her record to 6-5 on the season.
Sophomore Meghan Brain (Pompton Plains, N.J.) went 1 2/3 innings and took the loss for Babson, giving up four runs on five hits, walking one and fanning one. First-year Tess Rubega (Norwich, Conn.) came on in the second and pitched 4 1/3 innings of outstanding relief, allowing no runs on four hits and a walk while striking out two.
The Beavers took their first lead of the day in the top of the first inning in game two, as Enos singled to left, stole second, and scored on a two-out single up the middle by Pashos. That lead would hold up until the bottom of the fifth, when Clark scored two runs with two outs to move in front. After the first two batters were retired, Lennon singled to left, senior Katherine Tutela (Dalton, Mass.) followed with a walk, and both runners moved into scoring position on a passed ball. Kettenacker then laced a single up the middle, scoring two and giving the Cougars a 2-1 advantage.
Clark tacked on two more in the bottom of the sixth, beginning
when Chunis singled to right center to chase first-year starter
Christina Miquel (Emerson, N.J.). Rubega came on
and got the next batter to pop out, but first-year Shawna Amatucci
(Shrewsbury, Mass.) launched the second pitch she saw over the
fence in right-center field for her fourth home run of the spring
and a 4-1 Clark lead.
Babson staged a late rally in the top of the seventh, as Davis singled and Enos doubled her to third. Following the second out of the inning, Funk hit a fly ball to left that was knocked down by a gusting wind, resulting in a two-run double that cut the Beavers' lead to 4-3. However, Cougars' first baseman Chunis made a fantastic play on a shot down the line by Pashos, allowing her to step on the bag for the game-ending out.
Sophomore Nicole Meuse (Hudson, Mass.) went the distance on the mound for Clark, giving up three runs on 10 hits, walking one and striking out five as she improved to 6-3 on the year. Miquel shouldered the loss for Babson, despite retiring 14 of the first 15 batters she faced. The rookie righthander allowed just three runs - two of which were earned - on four hits, walked one and struck out two in five-plus innings. The loss dropped her record to 4-2 on the spring.
For the day, Enos led all players with six hits in eight at-bats, while Davis added three hits for the Beavers. For Clark, Kettenacker, Lennon, and Amatucci each recorded three hits in the twinbill.