Funk, Latini Power Softball To Huge 7-3 NEWMAC Tournament Win Over Springfield
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. -- Junior captain Catie Funk and senior captain Nicole Latini knocked in three runs each to lead second-seeded Babson to a 7-3 victory over top-seeded Springfield College this morning in the first game of the day of the New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference Softball Tournament at SC's Potter Field.
The win allowed Babson to up its record to 25-16, while SC fell to 24-14-1. The Beavers now move into the driver's seat as the only undefeated team remaining in the tournament. They will play next Saturday (May 5) when they return to Potter Field needing just one more victory to secure the program's third NEWMAC Championship.
Babson, the league's top-hitting team, finished with 12 hits off Springfield's top pitcher, sophomore Ashley Marino, who entered the contest with a league-leading 1.12 ERA. Marino allowed seven runs, only four of which were earned. She struck out four, and walked four. She is now 13-7 on the season.
The winning pitcher was Babson junior Megan Brain, who gave up nine hits and three runs, only two of which were earned. She struck out three and walked one as she improved to 4-6 on the year.
Babson struck first in the top of the first inning. With one out, senior captain Jess Pashos walked. She advanced to second on a ground out and then came around on a double to center field by Latini.
The Pride answered in the bottom of the first. After two were out, senior Kasey Kelly singled to center and advanced to second on a wild pitch. Junior Kelly Blake then hit a ground ball to short and beat it out for an infield single, with Kelly coming around to score when the throw to first got away.
The big inning was the Babson second. With one out, Babson's next two batters reached on a single and an error. Senior Kayla Davis then singled to center, knocking in the first run of the inning. Babson loaded the bases moments later on a single by junior Jackie Enos, and, after two were out, Funk walked to force in a run, making it 3-1 Babson. Then came a big play as Latini hit what looked like a catchable ball into left. The ball landed in for a hit between the shortstop and left fielder, and two more runs scored, making it 5-1.
In the bottom of the second, SC loaded the bases with nobody out on three straight singles. Senior Kelsey Dunn (Waterbury, Conn.) followed with a walk, forcing in a run, but the next two batters hit ground balls to force a runner at the plate. A hard-hit liner to center proved to be the third out, and a promising inning fell by the wayside for the home team.
In the top of the fourth, Babson added two more runs on a one-out home run to center by Funk. It was her 10th of the year - further increasing her single-season program record.
No one scored again until the bottom of the seventh. Sophomore Ally Rivelli (North Kingstown, R.I.) legged out an infield hit with two outs. Kelly then tripled to right-center to knock in a run. The game ended when Blake flew out on a long fly ball to left-fielder Pashos, who made the catch after crashing into the fence.
Both teams will play again when the tournament concludes next Saturday, May 5.
NOTE: Taken from a Springfield College press release.