TUCSON, Ariz.—The 24th-ranked Babson College softball team opened the 2018 season by splitting with a pair of nationally-ranked opponents on the first day of the National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) Division III Leadoff Classic on Friday afternoon. The Beavers defeated 11th-ranked Christopher Newport, 6-4, in their first game of the day before falling to No. 6 Trine University, 3-2, in game two.
GAME ONE: Babson 6, Christopher Newport 4
Sophomore Jacqueline Paul (Burlington, N.J.) went 2-for-4 with two RBI and senior Samantha Smith (Hillsborough, N.J.) doubled and drove in a pair of runs to help the Green and White win its season opener for the second year in a row. Senior Ali Reilly (New Canaan, Conn.) went the distance for the Beavers (1-1), allowing three earned runs on six hits while striking out five and walking three.
Sophomore Liz Andrews (Chesapeake, Va.) was 2-for-4 with a double and two RBI for the Captains. Classmate Laura Kate Moss (Mechanicsville, Va.) suffered the loss to fall to 1-2 on the year after giving up three runs on seven hits in five innings.
Reilly worked out of a jam in the first down just a run and Babson pulled even in the fourth when junior Annie Quine (Santa Monica, Calif.) scored on sophomore Annie Mitchell's (Rehoboth, Mass.) two-out single. The Beavers went ahead for good an inning later as sophomore Victoria Casey (Emerson, N.J.) plated senior Nicole Civello (Huntington Station, N.Y. with a single, and Smith followed with a two-out RBI double to make it 3-1.
Christopher Newport (0-1) cut its deficit in half in the bottom half of the fifth, but the Beavers tacked on three more runs despite getting just one hit in the seventh. Sophomore Tori Roche (Andover, Mass.) scored on an error and Paul followed with a two-out, two-run single to push the margin to 6-2.
GAME TWO: Trine 3, Babson 2
The sixth-ranked Thunder, which is coming off a trip to the College World Series last season, rallied for three runs in the top of the seventh inning to scratch out a one-run victory over the Beavers.
Sophomore Brooke Stock (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) struck out 12 while giving up five hits and four walks in a complete-game effort for Babson. Junior Josephine Mares (Houston, Texas) tripled and scored, while Mitchell and Quine each drove in a run in the loss.
Sophomore Makenna Hartline (Niles, Mich.) smacked a three-run homer and senior Erica Robles (Long Beach, Calif.) went 3-for-4 with a double for Trine (2-0). Sophomore Danielle Ray (Hamilton, Ohio) earned her first victory of the year after allowing five hits and three walks over seven innings.
Mares tripled to start the bottom of the first and scored two batters later on a single by Quine. The Green and White went down in order in the second and third innings, but doubled its advantage in the fourth when Mitchell drove in junior Ashley Tango (Reading, Mass.) with a two-out single.
Stock, who struck out the side in three of the first four innings, worked around an error in the fourth and back-to-back singles to start the fifth. First-year Kennedy Baugh (Walton, Ky.) walked to lead off the seventh, Robles singled to put runners on the corners, and Hartline followed with a three-run blast to give the Thunder a 3-2 advantage.
Casey drew a two-out walk in the last of the seventh, but Ray got a ground ball to third base to end the game.
Babson returns to action on Saturday when it takes on Wisconsin-Oshkosh at 5 p.m. ET and Central (Iowa) at 7:30 p.m. ET.
• Friday's matchups were the first in program history with both Christopher Newport and Trine.
• Reilly has won nine straight decisions going back to April of last season, while Quine has now reached base in eight consecutive games going back to last year.
• Tango extended her hitting streak to five games with a single in both outings.
• The Beavers are 12-7 going back to the start of last year in 1- and 2-run games.