WORCESTER, Mass. – The WPI softball team swept a non-conference doubleheader with visiting Bridgewater State University on Wednesday afternoon at Rooftop Field. WPI won the first game, 6-1, and completed the sweep with a walk-off, 6-5 victory in the nightcap.
The host Engineers improve to 25-7 on the season with the two wins, while the visiting Bears fall to 12-17.
Junior Mackenzie Phillips (Gill, Mass.) struck out nine in the complete game effort in game one and senior Kylie Juarez (Elk Grove, Calif.) went 4-for-4, including the game-ending walk-off single, in game two to lead the Engineers to the sweep.
In game one, senior Renee LeClaire (Merrimack, NH) used a two-out double to chase home the initial run of the day in the bottom of the first inning and drove in another with a two-out single in the third. Freshman Gabriella Cerbo (Middletown, N.J.) reached on a bases-clearing dropped fly ball for the 5-0 advantage through three. Freshman Lindsay Ambrosino (Chelmsford, Mass.) smacked a two-out home run to right center in the fourth.
Bridgewater State broke up the shutout thanks to a miscue on a double steal in the top of the sixth. Seniors Courtney Gouveia (Taunton, Mass.) and Jenny Heller (Taunton, Mass.) each singled to put runners at the corners with one out. Heller stole second and Gouveia trotted home from third on an errant throw.
Sophomore Marissa Gonzales (Oakley, Calif.) and LeClaire (2 RBI) both batted 2-for-3 and totaled three stolen bases.
Phillips (14-2) allowed just one unearned run on five hits and one walk in the triumph.
Gouveia was the lone Bear with a pair of hits.
Freshman Kelley Reichert (Milford, Mass.) gave up six runs, only three of which were earned on six hits in the complete game effort. Reichert (4-6) did not issue a walk and fanned two.
After three scoreless innings in game two, WPI put one on the board thanks to a wild pitch in the bottom of the fourth.
Junior Samantha Mulcahy (Taunton, Mass.), freshman Megan Sharon (East Longmeadow, Mass.) and Heller all singled in a run for the 3-1 Bridgewater lead in the sixth. Mulcahy and Gouveia (double) each plated a run in the seventh, increasing the BSU lead to 5-1.
In the bottom of the seventh, WPI loaded the bases thanks to a pair of singles and a walk. Ambrosino followed with a single to left to push the first Engineer across in the frame. After a rare foul out double play, senior Caraline Wood (Averill Park, N.Y.) singled in a pair to cut the deficit to 5-4. Following a key BSU error which would have ended the game, junior Cassie Graca (Somerset, Mass.) tied it up with a hit up the middle, setting the stage for Juarez's heroics.
Ambrosino and Gonzales each singled and doubled, and Wood accounted for a pair of RBI.
Sophomore Katie Martin (Bedford, N.H.) gave up five runs (four earned) on eight hits in 6 2/3 innings of work but did not factor in the decision. Martin struck out seven and did not allow a walk.
Freshman Abigail O'Connor (Belle Mead, NJ) benefitted from the walk-off to improve to 2-2 as she retired the only batter she faced to end the top of the seventh.
Mulcahy led the Bears in game two with a 3-for-4, two stolen base and two-RBI performance.
Junior Natalie Sorrenti (Bridgewater, MA) went the distance in the circle for Bridgewater State in the setback. Sorrenti (6-6) allowed six runs, only three earned, on 11 hits with two walks and a strikeout.
WPI hosts Wellesley Friday at 3:30pm and BSU is at Framingham State Friday at noon.