Worcester, Mass. - April 29, 2017 - Led by another strong outing from junior pitcher Talia Loda (East Haven, Conn.), and RBI from Kirsten Drobiak (Griswold, Conn.) and Carianna Gasdia (Wakefield, Mass.), the Springfield College softball team picked up a 2-0 win over Babson in the New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) Championship Tournament on Saturday afternoon at Rooftop Field.
With the win, the Pride, which is the No. 2 seed in the tournament, improves to 32-7 overall, while Babson, which was the No. 4 seed, falls to 25-13 on the year. Both teams will advance to NEWMAC Championship Weekend, which will be hosted at WPI on Saturday, May 6.
Loda finished the day pitching 7.0 innings, giving up just four hits while striking out three. Her counterpart, Brooke Stock (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) pitched 6.0 frames, as the freshman gave up four hits, one earned run, and struck out six Springfield College batters. Loda's 19 wins on the year puts the junior in an elite category of Springfield College pitchers, as there has only been four student-athletes to record 19 or more wins since the 1996 season.
Leading the Pride offensively was Drobiak, who went 2-for-3 with an RBI, and Gasdia, who finished 1-for-2 with one run batted in. Drobiak's RBI marked her 47th of the season, which ties the Springfield College softball program record for RBI in a single season, set by Jenna Webb in 2013.
After 2.5 innings of scoreless play, the Pride finally broke through when Rachel Ball (Coventry, R.I.) reached on an error at third, before stealing second to put herself in scoring position. Next up, Loda dropped a sacrifice bunt to move Ball to third, before Gasdia cracked a double to left, plating Ball to give Springfield College a 1-0 lead.
Next up, Drobiak continued the rally when she singled to left center, scoring Gasdia to make it 2-0, Pride.
Babson was threatening in the next half inning with runners on second and third with one out, but Loda forced back-to-back ground outs to get out of the jam unscathed. The junior limited the Beavers to just one hit until the seventh inning, when consecutive singles from Tori Roche (Andover, Mass.) and Jacqueline Paul (Burlington, N.J.) opposed another threat from Babson, but Kayla Padroff (Southington, Conn.) ended the game when she threw out Roche trying to get to third.