WPI Powers Past Blue In NEWMAC Softball Sweep  

Senior Madeline Bianchi led the Blue pitchers with three strikeouts in game two (Robert Oliver).
Senior Madeline Bianchi led the Blue pitchers with three strikeouts in game two (Robert Oliver).

WELLESLEY, Mass. -- WPI held off a seventh inning rally in game one before winning game two in six innings to sweep Wellesley College softball in a New England Women's & Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) doubleheader on Friday at the Wellesley Field Complex.

WPI took game one, 4-2, and game two by a 10-1 final to improve to 26-8 overall and 15-1 in the NEWMAC. The Blue are now 7-22 (4-12 NEWMAC). 

WPI 4, Wellesley 2

Trailing 4-0 in the seventh inning, Wellesley scored two runs on a WPI error but came-up two runs short, as the Engineers held on for a 4-2 victory.

After three scoreless innings to open the contest, sophomore Cassie Graca (Somerset, Mass.) drove in a pair of runs with a triple and Katie Chagami (Waipahu, Hawaii) singled up the middle to score Graca to help WPI take a 3-0 advantage. Graca finished 2-for-3 with two RBIs and a run scored for WPI. The Engineers later tacked on one more thanks to a Wellesley error in the top of the seventh to take a 4-0 lead. 

With two outs in the bottom of the seventh, first year Alyssa Hana (La Mirada, Calif.) reached on a two-base error to help score sophomore Autumn Brown (Marshfield, Mass.) and classmate Kendall Smith (Turlock. Calif.). However, the rally ended with Hana on second as Nicole Kuberka (Los Angeles, Calif.) closed out the game for the Engineers. Hana and Brown each finished the game 1-for-3 for the Blue.

WPI senior Kelsey Saucier (Worcester, Mass.) earned the win, as she did not allow an earned run on three hits and two walks with four strikeouts in 6.0 innings. Wellesley senior Julia Warner (Kenmore, Wash.) took the loss, dropping to 5-10 on the year despite giving up just two earned over seven strong innings of work. 

WPI 10, Wellesley 1 (6 inn.)  

Junior Caraline Wood (Averill Park, N.Y.) was 3-for-4 with a grand slam and four runs scored as the Engineers powered past the Blue for a 10-1 win in six innings in game two.

Junior Renee LeClaire (Merrimack, N.H.) put the Engineers up 2-0 in the top of the first with a triple to right center, but the Blue immediately got one run back in the home half of the inning when first year Gen Brittingham (Aliso Viejo, Calif.) singled to the pitcher with runners on the corners to make the score 2-1. 

Brittingham, Brown and sophomore Jessica Budz (Traverse City, Mich.) accounted for the three Wellesley hits while senior Madeline Bianchi (Lakeville, Minn.) led the Blue pitchers with three strikeouts. 

With the Blue trailing 2-1, WPI first year Katie Martin (Bedford, N.H.) replaced starter Kaitlyn Hess (Milford, N.H.) and went on to pitch 5.2 inning of scoreless relief, giving up just two hits while striking out four.

Graca continued to add to the WPI lead in the top of the second with a leadoff home run. After two outs, Murphy-Cook sent a single through the left side to make it 4-1 WPI. Wood swiped home on a double steal with two outs in the third. Senior RiAnna May (Westminster, CO) tacked on another with a single to right in the fifth. Wood swung the door wide open with a grand slam to left in the top of the sixth. 

Both teams will close out the NEWMAC regular season on Saturday. Wellesley will host Clark for Senior Day at 12:00 PM, while WPI will look to lock-up a regular season title when they welcome MIT.