CAMBRIDGE, Mass.—Senior Katherine Shade (Glencoe, Ill.) drove in the game-winning run with a bunt single in the bottom of the seventh inning as 18th-ranked MIT forced an if necessary game by defeating third-seeded Babson College, 2-1, in New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) Tournament action on Saturday afternoon at Briggs Field.
Babson, which suffered its first loss after three straight wins in championship, is now 27-15 overall, while MIT improves to 32-7-1 overall. The Beavers and Engineers have now split four games this season while combining for just 13 runs.
Senior Samantha Smith (Hillsborough, N.J.) and juniors Annie Quine (Santa Monica, Calif.), Ashley Tango (Reading, Mass.) and Josephine Mares (Houston, Texas) all had a hit for Babson. Senior Ali Reilly (New Canaan, Conn.) suffered the loss to fall to 16-5 on the year despite allowing just one unearned run on this hits in 4.0 innings of relief of sophomore Brooke Stock (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.), who allowed one run on six hits in 2.2 innings.
Shade and sophomore Madi Pickett (Santa Barbara, Calif.) both had two hits and an RBI, while senior Amanda Lee (Saratoga, Calif.) singled twice and scored once for MIT. Junior Ravenne Nasser (Methuen, Mass.) was once again superb allowing just one unearned run on four hits to go along with five strikeouts in a complete-game effort to improve to 18-4 this season.
The Beavers took advantage of a pair of errors to grab a 1-0 lead in the top of the third. Stock reached on an error, moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Smith and then scored with two outs when Quine's pop up into shallow left center was dropped.
The Engineers answered in their half of the frame as Pickett drove in Lee with a two-out single back through the box to make it 1-1. Reilly stranded a pair of MIT runners in the fourth and retired nine consecutive batters before senior Jasmin Joseph (Woodland Hills, Calif.) reached on a throwing error by Tango to being the bottom of the seventh.
Joseph moved to third on back-to-back ground outs and following a walk, Shade beat out a bunt back to Reilly when the Green and White was late covering first to give the Engineers the win.
Babson and MIT will meet for the third time in the tournament on Sunday at 1 p.m. in Cambridge with the winner earning the league's automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.
• The Beavers are now 41-20 all-time against MIT, which includes a 4-2 mark in conference tournament play.
• Despite suffering the loss, Reilly lowered her ERA to 0.57 in 37.0 innings over five NEWMAC Tournament appearances in the circle over the last two seasons.
• With Saturday's loss, Babson is now 0-12 this year when scoring less than three runs.