2017 NCAA Tournament Super Regional | 4 NCAA Tournaments | 3 Conference Championships

Winer, Pilkington Highlight Softball's Sweep of Smith

Winer, Pilkington Highlight Softball's Sweep of Smith


BABSON PARK, Mass. – First-year Sam Pilkington (Westborough, Mass.) went 5-for-5 with six RBIs and captain Jess Winer (Longmeadow, Mass.) celebrated Senior Day with five hits, three runs scored and two driven in as the Babson College softball team swept a doubleheader against New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) foe Smith College at Babson’s Alumni Field on Saturday afternoon. The Beavers, who won by scores of 10-2 and 15-0, extended their winning streak to six games as they improved to 17-13 overall and 7-5 in the conference, while the Pioneers’ tough luck continued as they fell to 1-24 overall and 0-12 in the NEWMAC.

Sophomore Megan Brain (Pompton Plains, N.J.) and first-year Tess Rubega (Norwich, Conn.) each earned complete-game victories on the mound for Babson. Brain (7-4) allowed two runs on five hits, walked two and struck out one in game one, while Rubega (4-7) fired a one-hit shutout with two walks and a strikeout in game two.

Smith jumped out to an early lead in the opener, as junior Sarah Goodman (Pittsford, N.Y.) led off the game with her second home run of the season. That advantage would hold up until the bottom of the second, when junior Kayla Davis (Gardner, Mass.) led off with a double and, two batters later, Pilkington launched her first collegiate home run well over the wall in left. Later that inning, junior Jess Pashos (Winchester, Mass.) would lift a sacrifice fly to right, scoring first-year Katie Guido (Middleton, Mass.) from third for a 3-1 Babson lead.

The Beavers broke the game open with six runs in the third inning – four of which were unearned. Pilkington struck again with a two-run single to left center during the outburst, while sophomore Catie Funk (Scarborough, Maine) continued her red-hot play with a three-run double to center. Babson would tack on another run when Pilkington drove in sophomore Ashleigh Phelps (West Chester, Pa.) with a double to left center in the fourth, giving her a career-high five RBIs in the contest.

Smith put across its final run of the game in the top of the fifth, as senior Salma Mehter (Seattle, Wash.) reached on a fielder’s choice, moved to second on a walk to Goodman, and scored on a single to left by sophomore Brittany Purington (Weare, N.H.).

First-year Kayla Kiers (West Warwick, R.I.) took the loss in game one for the Pioneers, surrendering six earned runs on eight hits in four innings of work. Goodman was perfect at the plate for the visitors, going 2-for-2 with a run and an RBI in the opener.

Babson wasted no time in game two, scoring four runs in the first and seven more in the second to open up a commanding 11-0 advantage. Funk started the scoring with a two-run homer to center – her fourth round-tripper in the last four days – while Winer and Phelps each added RBI singles later in the first to make it 4-0. The Beavers then erupted for seven more in the second, with Winer, sophomore Jackie Enos (Taunton, Mass.), junior captain Nicole Latini (East Bridgewater, Mass.), Guido, and first-year Sammy Kiley (Lynn, Mass.) each driving in runs. Pilkington would enter the game in the third and drive in her sixth run of the day with an infield, and Latini and Phelps both plated runs in the fourth as Babson built a 15-0 lead.

That would be more than enough for Rubega, who carried a no-hitter into the fifth inning. Pioneers’ junior Kathryn Durkin (Victor, N.Y.) finally broke up the freshman’s no-hit bid with a clean single to right in the top of the fifth, but Rubega went on to retire two of the next three batters to finish off the one-hit shutout. The win was the rookie righthander’s third straight after several tough-luck losses contributed to a 1-7 start to her young career.

Honored between games for her four years of service to the Babson softball program, Winer finished the day with five hits - including a double - in seven at-bats, three runs scored, and two driven in. Pilkington went 5-for-5 with a double, a homer, two runs, and six driven in; Funk added a 4-for-7 effort with two doubles, a homer, two runs, and five RBIs; and Pashos and Latini each scored four times while combining for five RBIs.

Also between games, there was a brief ceremony in honor of Babson’s 2005 and 2006 NEWMAC Championship teams. In 2005, the Beavers set a new school record for victories by finishing 38-8 and winning its first-ever NEWMAC title. The following year, the Beavers posted a 35-12 record and repeated as conference champions, giving the team an incredible 73-20 record over a two-year span. Those two seasons also marked the program’s first two appearances in the NCAA Division III Tournament, and Babson was selected to host the New England Regional both years.