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Softball Splits First Two Games Of NEWMAC Tournament

Softball Splits First Two Games Of NEWMAC Tournament

**Releases courtesy of WPI Athletics**

Game 1

WORCESTER – Freshman Mary Kuczkowski (Litchfield, NH) gave Emerson a 3-1 lead with two outs in the fifth as the fourth-seeded Lions held off fifth-seeded Springfield for a 3-2 victory in Game 1 of the 2019 NEWMAC Softball Championship Wednesday on WPI's Rooftop Field.

The Lions (20-18) remain on the roof to face top-seeded WPI in the second game of the tournament twinbill while the Pride (22-15) return to Boynton Hill Friday to face the Game 3 loser (# 2 MIT or #3 Babson) at noon.

After freshman Morgan Mitchell (Riverton, UT) tied the game with a two-out RBI walk in the fourth, Kuczkowski sent a two-run single up the middle for the two-run Emerson advantage.

Springfield sophomore Abbi Conley (Plymouth, MA) began the bottom of the first with a double down the left field line. Junior Meghan Sastram (Oxford, CT) quickly followed with a single down the third base line to give Springfield the 1-0 lead. With two outs in the bottom of the seventh, junior Yaixsa Vargas (Waterbury, CT) cut the deficit to one with a single up the middle. A grounder to short ended the game.

Sophomore Lindsey Lowe (Porter Ranch, CA) led Emerson with a pair of hits and two runs scored to go with Kuczkowski's pair of RBI. Senior Kallista Leonardos (El Granada, CA) doubled and freshman Lexi Semanchik (Flemington, NJ) stole a base. Sophomore Neely Eddleston (West Wareham, MA) struck out three in the first four innings of the victory while freshman Karagan Knowles(Tucson, AZ) added a pair of strikeouts in the three-inning save.

Junior Allie Wheeler (Agawam, MA) led Springfield with a pair of hits while Conley and sophomore Hannah Salvietti (Cheshire, CT) each doubled. Senior Shelby Allen (Oakland, NJ) struck out seven in the complete-game effort for the Pride.


Game 2


WORCESTER – Senior Kylie Juarez (Elk Grove, CA) batted 3-for-3 with three RBI and two runs scored and junior Mackenzie Phillips (Gill, MA) carried a no-hitter late into the sixth inning while top-seeded WPI defeated fifth-seeded Emerson, 8-0 (6 inn.), in Game 3 of the 2019 NEWMAC Softball Championship Friday on Rooftop Field.

The Engineers (29-8), who were sixth in last week's NCAA New England regional rankings, moves on to face second-seeded, and nationally-ranked, MIT at 4pm on Friday. The Lions (20-19) are now slated to play sixth-seeded Wellesley in the first game of the day at 10am. In all, four games are scheduled to be played Friday on The Roof, weather permitting.

After issuing a four-pitch walk to freshman Lexi Semanchik (Flemington, NJ) with one out in the first inning, Phillips did not allow a baserunner until senior Marisa DeFranco (Falls Church, VA) connected on a two-out single in the top of the sixth.

WPI manufactured the first run of the game in the bottom of the second. Senior Renee LeClaire (Merrimack, NH) led with a double. Junior Cassie Graca (Somerset, MA) and Juarez followed with a sacrifice bunt and a sacrifice fly, respectively.

Two innings later, Juarez keyed a four-run frame with an RBI single and went on to score on a wild pitch. Freshman Hailey McCasland (Wrentham, MA) then doubled in a run followed by a run-producing single by sophomore Marissa Gonzales (Oakley, CA) two batters later.

Junior Leila Camplese (Tewksbury, MA) lifted a sacrifice fly to right and McCasland added another RBI on a fielder's choice as WPI led 7-0 after five. Juarez later ended the game with a two-out single to center.

McCasland went 2-for-3 with a double and a pair of RBI for the home team. Camplese chipped in with a sacrifice bunt and sacrifice fly. Gonzales and Graca added sac bunts and Juarez contributed with a sac fly. Graca stole two bases and Juarez swiped one. LeClaire also doubled for WPI. Phillips struck out seven and improved to 16-3 on the year.

Springfield sophomore Neely Eddleston (West Wareham, MA), who made her second start of the day, was followed by freshmen Karagan Knowles (Tucson, AZ) and Katelyn Torlincasi (Bayport, NY).


The Lions are back in action on Friday when they take on the Wellesley Blue at 10:00am on Friday.