Women come out on top in pair of games
The women’s softball team slugged its way to wins in their home opener on Marcus Field last Saturday, putting up 10 runs in a doubleheader win over Clark College en route to their ninth and 10th wins this year. The squad sits at 10-7 overall for the year and has won an incredible five of their last six games, including the University Athletic Tournament earlier in the regular season.
Judges 10, Clark 7
The Judges kicked off the doubleheader with a 10-7 win over the Cougars, overcoming four homers by the visitors in the victory.
Clark got on the board in the top of the first inning when Clark junior right fielder Lauren Mackey smacked an RBI double down the left field line. The Judges answered with a run of their own when utility player Keri Lehtonen ’19 scored on an egregious error in the bottom of the frame.
Third baseman Madison Sullivan ’16 added a two-run double in the bottom of the third inning, scoring Lehtonen and catcher Danielle Novotny ’16. Sullivan came around to score on the next batter, when second baseman Madison Gagnon ’16 smacked an RBI single.
The Judges exploded for six runs in the fourth inning to put the game out of reach, using a pair of two-run doubles to pull away from the Cougars offense.
Sullivan started the scoring for the Judges by coming through in the clutch with a two-out RBI. Sullivan drove home a pair of runs on a double to deep left-center field that scored Lehtonen and shortstop Liana Moss ’17.
After adding a third run on a wild pitch, the Judges brought in another run when center fielder Madison Hunter ’16 reached first on a passed ball after striking out and Sullivan crossed the plate.
First baseman Jordan Buscetto ’16 redeemed her leadoff strikeout with an RBI double, scoring Gagnon and Hunter before Moss grounded out to third to end the inning. The hosts pounded out six runs and five hits during the frame, batting around and chasing the Cougars’ sophomore pitcher Sami West from the game.
Pitcher Melissa Soleimani ’17 earned the win by going 6.1 innings, allowing five runs and a walk and striking out six batters in the process. Pitcher Sarah Petrides ’19 closed out the final frame, allowing a pair of hits in the process.
Judges 10, Clark 9
Right fielder Amanda Shore ’18 was the hero for the home team, notching a walk-off RBI single in the bottom of the seventh inning to cap a four-run rally.
The Judges were quickly in a hole after surrendering three runs in the top of the first inning, but got two back on RBIs from Moss and left fielder Leah Shapiro ’17 in the second inning.
Pitcher Sadie-Rose Apfel ’18 allowed a deflating three-run homer in the top of the third inning but was bailed out by the late heroics of the squad.
The Judges used a four-run fifth inning to tie the game at six with RBIs from Sullivan, Gagnon and Shapiro and an unearned run scored on a Clark error.
Soleimani, who entered in relief in the top of the sixth inning, was immediately tagged for three runs when she threw a wild pitch, an RBI sacrifice fly and a solo homer, setting the stage for the Judges’ heroics. Soleimani had to work around trouble in the top of the seventh, allowing a leadoff walk to advance to third base before stranding the runner by inducing an inning-ending fly out.
In the bottom of the seventh, Gagagnon started the comeback with a double to left field before being replaced by pinch runner Marysa Massoia ’19.
Massoia was chased home on an RBI double by first baseman Allison Hecht ’17 to cut the deficit to 9-7. Moss followed Hecht by tying the game with one swing of the bat, homering to straightaway center field.
After a pair of hits by Shapiro and Lehtonen, Shore provided the heroics with a sharp single to right field that scored Shapiro and handed the Judges their 10th win of the regular season.
The hosts recorded 13 hits on the day, including six in the final frame, while Soleimani recorded the win in relief.
The Judges return to action on March 30, when they host Wellesley College in a doubleheader, beginning at 3 p.m. The Judges continue with the doubleheader theme, playing at Worcester State University on April 1.
The Judges did not perform well last season against Wellesley, losing both games, albeit by small margins. The first game fell just out of reach of the women, losing 3-2 in a close battle.
The second game proved more challenging, with the Judges allowing seven runs in a 7-4 loss on rival territory.
However, the Judges were able to split their games against Worcester during last year's regular season campaign.
The Judges faltered in the first game, losing by a mere one run in a 4-3 battle.
Yet the Judges clawed back to shut out the Worcester offense in a 2-0 win during the second game of the day.
With over 20 games remaining in the season, the Judges seem poised to surpass their 21-14 overall record from the 2014-15 season.
Standing in third place, directly under Washington University and Emory University, the Judges have a shot to prove their dominance and true power.
The Judges sit a smidge below their previous season's .600 record, with a .588 winning percentage, but can surpass that mark with key wins over the next week.