WELLESLEY, Mass. – Senior starting pitchers Julia Warner (Kenmore, Wash.) and Madeline Bianchi (Lakeville, Minn.) pitched back-to-back shutouts to lead Wellesley College softball to a Senior Day sweep of visiting Clark University in a New England Women's & Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) doubleheader on Saturday afternoon at the Wellesley Fields Complex.
Wellesley improves to 9-22 overall and ends the NEWMAC season with a 6-12 record. Clark moves to 7-23 on the season with a 3-15 mark in conference play. Prior to the start of the game, the Blue recognized Bianchi, Warner and fellow seniors Zein Aburish (Alexandria, Va.) and Amanda Manning (Chico, Calif.) for their contributions to the program.
Wellesley 1, Clark 0
Warner pitched a complete game, striking out five, while walking two and surrendering just three hits to lead the Blue to a 1-0 victory in game one.
The Wellesley senior got the only run she would need in the bottom of the second when sophomore Autumn Brown (Marshfield, Mass.) singled to right to score first year Gen Brittingham (Aliso Viejo, Calif.) from third base. Brittingham, who opened the inning with a single before advancing two bases on a sacrifice, finished the day 1-for-3. Brown was also 1-for-3. Sophomore Kalei Oliver (Vista, Calif.) was 2-for-3 to lead the Blue in the opener.
Warner (6-10) pitched around a walk and an error in the first inning and a walk in the second before posting back-to-back perfect innings in the third and the fourth. Clark sophomore Christina Kopacz (North Grosvenordale, Conn.) singled with two outs in the fifth, but Warner made quick work of the next batter, senior Leah Bodin (Andover, Vt.), recording her fourth strikeout to end the inning.
The Cougars threatened again in the op of the seventh, as Taylor Erickson (Natick, Mass.) doubled and Anjelica Gonzalez (Merrimack, N.H.) singled to open the inning. However, Warner worked her way out of the jam, getting the next two batters to fly out before she got Kopacz to ground out to end the game.
Senior Brenna Foley (Charlton, Mass.) took the tough luck loss for the Cougars, dropping to 3-9 on the year despite giving up just one run on six hits in 4.2 innings. Classmate Sami West (Gonic, N.H.) pitched 1.1 innings of scoreless relief for the Cougars.
Wellesley 2, Clark 0
After driving in the game-winning run in game one, Brown delivered the big blast in game two with a two-run home run in the bottom of the fourth inning. That was all Bianchi would need as she went the distance to lead the Blue to a 2-0 shutout.
Brown's home run was one of just two hits for the Blue in game two. Clark sophomore Sarah Woods (Littleton, Mass.) pitched 4.0 innings giving-up just the two hits before West returned to pitch 2.0 innings of perfect relief.
Five different Clark players singled in game two, including Kopacz and West, but the Cougars could not find a way to solve Bianchi despite getting at least one base runner in every inning but the second.
Warner was hit by a pitch to open the fourth inning but Woods rallied to get the next two batters to fly out to center. With two away and Warner on first, Brown connected for her third home run of the season, dropping the ball over the left centerfield wall to make the score 2-0.
West entered the game in the fifth inning and set the Blue down in order in the final two frames, but the visitors were unable to take advantage. Bianchi worked around a walk in the top of the seventh before getting Kopacz to groundout to first to secure the shutout.
Wellesley will close out the 2018 season at 3:00 PM on Wednesday, April 25, afternoon with a pair of games against non-conference Bridgewater St. Clark will take on local rival Becker on Tuesday, April 24 at 3:00 PM.
[UPDATED: Wednesday's doubleheader has been cancelled, today's games conclude the 2018 season for the Blue]