WORCESTER, Mass. -- No. 6 Wellesley College softball avoided elimination with a pair of victories on Friday at the 2019 New England Women's & Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) Softball Championship at WPI's Rooftop Field. The Blue eliminated No. 5 Emerson College with a 6-0 victory in six innings in the morning and No. 3 Babson College with a 5-4 win in nine innings in the afternoon.
First year Hayley Moniz (Westfield, Mass.) pitched a shutout in game one and sophomore Gen Brittingham (Aliso Viejo, Calif.) hit a go-ahead home run in the ninth inning of game two as Wellesley improved to 13-16-2 overall. The Blue will now play in Game #9 on Saturday, May 4, at 12:00 PM against top-seeded WPI.
Game #5 | Wellesley 8, Emerson 0 | Final - 6 innings
Hayley Moniz pitched a six-inning shutout to lift No. 6 Wellesley to an 8-0 victory over No. 5 Emerson on Friday morning.
First year Jill O'Shea (Moseley, Va.) finished 1-for-3 with a career-high three RBI, including a big two-RBI single in the top of the fifth inning. Junior Kalei Oliver (Vista, Calif.) was 2-for-2 with an RBI and two runs scored, while classmate Autumn Brown (Marshfield, Mass.) also recorded a pair of hits, an RBI and a run scored.
Wellesley posted three runs in the top of the second inning to jump to a 3-0 lead. With one away, Oliver singled, Brown doubled, and Moniz walked to load the bases for O'Shea. O'Shea opened the scoring with an RBI groundout. Sophomore Julianne Griffin (Blue Bell, Pa.) then stepped in and delivered, driving in a pair of runs when she crushed a double into the left centerfield gap.
The Blue continued to add on in the top of third, scoring twice to take a 2-0 lead. Wellesley loaded the bases for the second consecutive inning, as sophomore Alyssa Hana (La Mirada, Calif.) reached on an error, first year Marisa Hensch (Carlsbad, Calif.) was hit by pitch, and sophomore Gen Brittingham (Aliso Viejo, Calif.) singled through the left side. Hana scored an RBI single from Oliver, before Hensch came home on fielder's choice RBI off the bat of Brown.
With the bases loaded again in the fifth inning, O'Shea delivered to score Oliver and pinch runner Lucy Cheskin (Mountain View, Calif.) to stretch the Wellesley advantage to 7-0. In the sixth, Hensch singled, stole second, and advanced to third on a wild pitch, before scoring on a Brittingham sacrifice fly to make the score 8-0.
Moniz did the rest, working around a one-out single in the bottom of the sixth to close out her fifth win of the year. Moniz scattered five hits, striking out one, and walking two to earn the victory for the Blue.
Game #7 | Wellesley 5, Babson 4 | Final – 9 innings
Gen Brittingham hit a go-ahead home run in the top of the ninth inning to send Wellesley to a 5-4 victory over Babson in the final elimination game of the day. Brittingham was 4-for-5 including the home run.
Babson scored in the top of the first, as a leadoff walk to Josephine Mares (Houston, Texas) eventually yielded the first run of the game. Mares reached and worked her way to third on a ground out and a fly out. With Mares at third, junior Jacqueline Paul (Burlington, N.J.) singled through the right side to make the score 1-0.
Babson carried the lead into the top of the fourth when the Blue rallied to score three runs on three hits and two Babson errors and take a 3-1 lead. Oliver had the only RBI in the inning, scoring Hensch from third after the Blue first year reached earlier in the inning on a two-base error. Two more Wellesley runs scored on an infield miscue later in the inning.
Moniz worked out of a bases loaded jam in the bottom of the fourth before the Blue made the score 4-1 in the top of the fifth. Junior Kendall Smith (Turlock, Calif.) opened the inning with a single and advanced to second on a Hana sacrifice. Hensch then flied out, allowing Smith to move to third. Brittingham followed with a single through the left side of the infield to increase the Wellesley advantage. Smith finished the game 2-for-4 for the Blue.
Babson cut the lead to one in the bottom of the sixth when junior Tori Roche (Andover, Mass.) hit a two-run home run over the left field wall to make the score 4-3. Roche finished the game 2-for-3. Despite another single from Brittingham, the Blue were unable to add insurance in the top of the seventh and Babson was able to tie the game, 4-4, when senior Ashley Tango (Reading, Mass.) singled to score Mares in the bottom of the seventh.
The game advanced to the ninth where Brittingham hit her sixth career home run over the centerfield fence.
Mares walked and stole second with one out in the bottom of the ninth, but Blue first year Caitlin Gordon (North Vancouver, BC, Canada), who tossed three scoreless innings, in relief, closed out the win. Moniz started and threw six innings for the Blue, while Katie Gademsky (Hillsborough, N.J.) went 7.2 innings for Babson, allowing three runs.
For more on the 2019 NEWMAC Softball Championship, visit www.newmacsports.com.