Blue Softball Bounces Back To Earn Split With Springfield

First year Gen Brittingham was 2-for-4 with two RBIs in game two (Robert Oliver).
First year Gen Brittingham was 2-for-4 with two RBIs in game two (Robert Oliver).

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. – After falling 7-3 in game one, Wellesley College softball countered with a 6-5 victory in game two of a New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) doubleheader versus Springfield College on Tuesday afternoon at Potter Field. 

With the split, Wellesley is now 7-18 overall and 4-10 in conference. Springfield moves to 19-9 overall and an even 7-7 in the NEWMAC 

Springfield 7, Wellesley 3 

Springfield senior pitcher Talia Loda (East Haven, Conn.) improved to 10-4 on the season, pitching a complete game while allowing just three hits and striking out four to lead the Pride to a 7-3 victory. Loda was also 2-for-3 with the bat in the victory.

Wellesley struggled to overcome four errors in the contest, including two that helped the Pride post four runs in the fifth inning to turn a 3-2 deficit into a 6-3 advantage.

Springfield scored twice in the bottom half of the first inning, as Allie Wheeler (Agawam, Mass.) drove home a run with an RBI single before stealing second while Yaixsa Vargas (Waterbury, Conn.) made a theft of home. The Blue countered by scoring on an error in the fourth and adding two more in the fifth. Senior Julia Warner (Kenmore, Wash.) singled to tie the game and classmate Amanda Manning (Chico, Calif.) tripled to score Warner and give the Blue a 3-2 lead.

Springfield regained the lead in the home half of the inning. Alexyss Conley (Bloomingburg, N.Y.) knotted the score with an RBI single, scoring Vargas, before an RBI infield single from Gabby Alfieri (Cornwall, N.Y.) put the Pride up 4-3. Meghan Sastram (Oxford, Conn.) then reached on an error that allowed Conley to score, before Jen Slane (Tolland, Conn.) lifted a sacrifice fly to left to plate the final Springfield run of the inning.

Loda only allowed one base runner over the final two innings and Springfield scored one more run on a wild pitch in the sixth inning to clinch the 7-3 final. Wellesley starter Madeline Bianchi (Lakeville, Minn.) struck out five over 7.0 innings of work but also allowed 11 hits and seven runs, five earned, in the setback (0-4).

Wellesley 6, Springfield 5 

Manning finished 3-for-4 with two runs scored and the Blue took advantage of five Springfield errors to bounce back for a 6-5 victory in game two.

First year Gen Brittingham (Aliso Viejo, Calif.) and sophomore Autumn Brown (Marshfield, Mass.) each tallied two RBIs and a pair of hits and junior Sydney Hopper (Newcastle, Wash.) picked-up her second career save, pitching 1.2 scoreless innings to help earn Warner the victory (5-7). Warner went the first 5.1 innings, working around nine hits while giving up five runs, four earned. 

Brittingham doubled to left centerfield to score Manning in the top of first inning, scoring the first of two Wellesley runs to open game two. The Pride countered with two runs in the bottom half of the inning. Vargas drove in Carianna Gasdia (Wakefield, Mass.) on a fielder's choice, before the Blue allowed Kirsten Drobiak (Griswold, Conn.) to score on an error. Drobiak later pushed the Pride ahead in the second inning, finding a hole in the left side of the infield to score Gasdia. The lead didn't last long, with Manning scoring in the top of the inning when Brittingham reached on an error.

The game advanced to the top of the fifth before the Blue again took advantage of a Springfield miscue. Sophomore Kalei Oliver (Vista, Calif.) reached base on an error to open the inning and advanced to second on a sacrifice. Oliver then scored on an RBI single from Brittingham to put the Blue ahead. With Brittingham on first, Brown doubled to the left centerfield gap, scoring Brittingham to make the score 5-3.

With the bases loaded following three straight singles in the top of the sixth inning, the Blue added an important insurance run on a Kendall Smith (Turlock, Calif.) infield single. Springfield got two runs back on a pinch-hit two-RBI single from Jen Slane (Tolland, Conn.) but could not find the tying run as Hopper shut the door in the seventh.

Both teams are in action on Wednesday, April 18. Wellesley heads to Brandeis for a 3:00 PM doubleheader and Springfield will travel to Westfield State for a doubleheader at 3:30 p.m.