Wellesley Softball Rallies For Game One Win, Falls in Game Two To Wheaton

Senior Julia Warner drove in two runs in the bottom of the sixth to earn the win in game one (Robert Oliver).
Senior Julia Warner drove in two runs in the bottom of the sixth to earn the win in game one (Robert Oliver).

WELLESLEY, Mass. -- Wellesley College softball fought off chilly temperatures and threatening rain to earn a split with visiting Wheaton College in a doubleheader on Tuesday afternoon at the Wellesley Fields Complex. The Blue picked-up a 5-4 come from behind victory in game one before falling 11-8 in game two. 

Wellesley is now 6-11 overall and 3-5 in conference following Tuesday's make-up of game originally scheduled for last Friday. Wheaton is now 5-15 overall and 3-7 in the NEWMAC.

Wellesley 5, Wheaton 4

Seniors Amanda Manning (Chico, Calif.) and Julia Warner (Kenmore, Wash.) each delivered two-RBI singles in the late innings to help the Blue rally from a 4-1 deficit and win the opener, 5-4.

Manning started the rally with Wellesley trailing 4-1, as the game moved to the bottom half of the fifth. First year Julianne Griffin (Blue Bell, Pa.) opened the inning with a single and sophomore Kalei Oliver (Vista, Calif.) later doubled. With two outs, Manning smashed a singled to left center to cut the deficit to one, at 4-3, with her only hit of the contest.

Warner then sat down Wheaton 1-2-3 in the top of the sixth before helping her own cause in the home half of the inning. Sophomore Kendall Smith (Turlock, Calif.) and first year Gen Brittingham (Aliso Viejo, Calif.) opened the inning with back-to-back hits before Warner singled up the middle to empty the bases and give the Blue the lead. Warner would also earn the win, pitching a complete game while striking out three and allowing no earned runs on just 88 pitches.

With Warner cruising, Wheaton built their early advantage during a four-run fifth inning that saw the Lyons score on three hits and three Wellesley errors, including a throwing error that allowed a pair of runs to score. Juniors Shelbi Wilson (Peabody, Mass.) and Lily Ongkiko (Joliet, Ill.) also picked-up RBIs in the inning. Wilson finished the contest 2-for-3 to lead the Lyons at the plate, but also took the loss (1-6), giving up two runs on three hits in one inning of relief.

Wheaton 11, Wellesley 8

Wheaton took control of game two in the top of the first inning, scoring four runs en route to an 11-8 victory in a sloppy game that included 28 hits and 7 errors between the two sides.

Wilson added three more hits in the nightcap, finishing 3-for-4 with three RBIs and two runs scored, including an RBI single to start Wheaton's four-run rally. Wilson came around to score on a Jade Asad (Lambertville, N.J.) RBI double, as the Lyons kept the line moving when Jessica Nardozza (Chester, N.H.) and Chloe Woodward (Bellingham, Mass.) also added run-scoring singles in the inning. Nardozza matched Wilson with three RBIs while also finishing the game 3-for-4 at the plate with two doubles.

The Lyons would go on to score one in the third, one in the fourth, two in the fifth, and three in the sixth. The Blue tried to chip away at the deficit, cutting the Wheaton advantage to two in the bottom of the second while also scoring one run in the fourth and a pair of runs in both the fifth and the sixth. However, Wellesley failed to keep the Lyons off the board every time they mounted a rally.

Trailing 8-4 entering the bottom of the fifth, Wellesley again cut the lead to two when sophomore Autumn Brown (Marshfield, Mass.) hit her first home run of the season, a two-run blast, over the centerfield fence to cut the lead to 8-6. Just as soon as the Blue cut the lead to two, Wheaton responded with three runs in the top of the sixth. Wilson again started the rally with an RBI base knock as the Lyons capped the rally with an Emily Schlapak (Dover, N.H.) RBI double.

The Blue got two back in the bottom of the sixth, on a Brittingham RBI single and a Warner sacrifice fly, but Wheaton closed out the 11-8 win behind a complete game effort from senior Allison Cox (Torrance, Calif.). Cox fought through 7 innings and 13 hits to improve to 5-7 after earning a no decision in five innings of work in game one.

Wellesley will travel to non-conference Endicott College for a 3:00 PM doubleheader tomorrow, April 11. Wheaton is off until Friday, April 13 when they host Babson in NEWMAC play at 3:00 PM.