Wellesley Softball Opens Season with Setbacks to Chicago and Tufts

Sophomore Kendall Smith recorded a pair of doubles on opening day for the Blue (Julia Monaco).
Sophomore Kendall Smith recorded a pair of doubles on opening day for the Blue (Julia Monaco).

CLERMONT, Fla. – Wellesley College softball opened the 2018 season with a pair of setbacks to the University of Chicago and Tufts University at the annual PFX Athletics Spring Games in Clermont, Fla. The Maroons outlasted the Blue, 7-6, to win game one before Tufts blanked Wellesley, 6-0, in the nightcap.

Game 1: Chicago 7, Wellesley 6

Wellesley rallied to overcome deficits of 2-0 and 4-3, but ultimately fell, 7-6, as Chicago scored two runs in the fifth and one run in the sixth to overcome a 6-4 deficit of their own. 

Senior Amanda Manning (Chico, Calif.) and sophomore Kendall Smith (Turlock, Calif.) each tallied two RBIs to lead the Blue. First years Gen Brittingham (Aliso Viejo, Calif.) and Amanda Kim (Neshanic Station, N.J.) each recording a pair of hits in their collegiate debut, while Kim also drove in a run. Chicago junior Colleen Bennett (Greenwich, Conn.) led all players with a game-high three RBIs, while sophomore Holli Jones (Hinsdale, Ill.) finished with a game-high three hits. Junior Jordyne Prussak (San Clemente, Calif.) scattered 10 hits over six innings to earn the win (3-0).

Bennett staked Chicago to a 2-0 lead in the top of the seconds, dropping down a two-RBI double to plate Holli and first year Abby Hayes (Westlake Village, Calif.). The Blue responded with three in the bottom half of the third inning, as Kim got Wellesley on the board with an RBI single and Smith dropped one into the gap to score Brittingham and Kim with her first double of the season to make the score 3-2. 

Bennett and sophomore Emma Nelson (Perryville, Mo.) put Chicago back up, 4-3, with RBI singles in the fourth, only to see Wellesley regain the lead, 6-4, when Manning doubled with two away before Kim scored on an error during her next at-bat. However, Hayes and junior Serena Moss (Ankeny, Iowa) each registered RBI singles in the top of the fifth to tie the contest, 6-6, before first year Skye Collins (Vero Beach, Fla.) hit a hard single back up the middle to plate the eventual winning run in the top of the sixth. 

Tufts 6, Wellesley 0

After platting six runs and registering 10 hits in the opener, the Blue offense couldn't get going in the nightcap as Wellesley fell 6-0 to their local rivals.

Tufts starter Kristina Haghdan (Pelham, N.H.) pitched a complete game to earn the victory, striking out seven, while walking two over seven innings to improve to 3-1 on the year. Blue starter Julia Warner (Kenmore, Wash.) pitched 3.1 innings, giving up eight hits and five earned runs to drop to 0-1 on the year. Junior Sydney Hopper (Newcastle, Wash.) added 2.2 innings in relief, striking out two while holding the Jumbos scoreless.

The Jumbos scored one run in the first, two in the second and third, and one in the fourth to take control of the contest. Five different players registered RBIs for Tufts, with sophomore Jamie Stevens (Libertyville, Ill.) delivering a two-RBI single in the bottom of the second inning. Stevens and senior Samantha Siciliano (Chatsworth, Calif.) each finished with two hits and a stolen base.

Smith doubled with one away in the top of the sixth for the Blue, before she advanced to third on a ground out. However, Wellesley failed to plate the run as Tufts continued to hold on to the 6-0 edge they built during the early innings.

Wellesley returns to action tomorrow, March 24, in Clermont, Fla. in a 9:00 PM rematch with Tufts. The Blue will also take on Kalamazoo at 2:00 PM.