Worcester, Mass. - March 30, 2018 - The Springfield College softball team opened up New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) play on Friday afternoon as the Pride dropped a pair of decisions to WPI at the Rooftop Field.
The loss drops the Pride's record to 12-4 with an 0-2 mark against league opponents while the Engineers are now 13-5 and 2-0 in the NEWMAC.
Senior Kirsten Drobiak (Griswold, Conn.) hit her seventh home run of the season in the second game, while also collecting a pair of RBI on the day, pushing her season total to a conference-leading 26.
The Pride will resume action on Saturday, March 31 as it will travel to Boston, Mass. for a 2:30 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. doubleheader with the Lions.
WPI 4, Springfield College 1
Drobiak collected the Pride's only RBI of game one on Friday afternoon as she drove in Rachel Ball (Coventry, R.I.) on a sacrifice fly, but Springfield College fell to WPI, 4-1, at Rooftop Field.
Senior pitcher Talia Loda (East Haven, Conn.) suffered her second loss of the season as she pitched 6.0 innings, giving up eight hits and three earned runs, while WPI starter Kelsey Saucier improved to 5-1 as she threw 7.0 innings, giving up six hits and striking out three.
WPI scored two quick runs in the bottom of the first using the speedy base running of Ama Biney (Worcester, Mass.) and Nina Murphy-Cook (Roseville, Calif.) before extending their lead to three on a home run to center off the bat of Biney.
Drobiak drove in Ball in the top of the third to cut the Pride's deficit to a pair, but RiAnna May (Westminster, Colo.) drove in a sacrifice fly in the bottom of the third to push the Engineers' lead back to three.
The Pride had a chance to pull even in the top of the fifth inning and had the bases loaded with two outs, but WPI was able to seize the rally, forcing a fielder's choice to keep Springfield at bay.
From there, Saucier retired the final six batters of the game to preserve the victory.
WPI 7, Springfield College 6
Springfield College scored four runs in the last two innings but came up shy of erasing a five-run deficit, dropping the second of two games with WPI on Friday afternoon at the Rooftop Field.
Junior pitcher Shelby Allen (Oakland, N.J.) dropped to 4-2 on the year as she pitched 6.0 innings, striking out two, while at the plate, she notched her first-career home run, driving in a pair of runs in the top of the sixth. WPI's Kaitlyn Hess (Milford, N.H.) was credited with the victory, the first of her career win, while Nicole Kuberka (Los Angeles, Calif.) picked up the five-out save for the Engineers.
Drobiak hammered her seventh home run of the season in the top of the first inning to spot the Pride an early 1-0 lead, but the Engineers would respond with four runs in the bottom of the first to take a 4-1 lead. Springfield College would get one back in the top of the second when Loda drove in Meghan Sastram (Oxford, Conn.) to make it 4-2, but WPI would tack on three in the bottom of the third to take a 7-2 advantage.
After Allie Wheeler (Agawam, Mass.) reached on an error to lead off the sixth inning, Allen drilled her first-career home run to left field, making it 7-4, before Alexyss Conley (Bloomingburg, N.Y.) scored on a wild pitch, making it 7-5, WPI.
In the next inning, Drobiak would double to get the rally started, before Wheeler pushed her to third on a grounder to the pitcher. After Allen drew a walk, Conley singled down the third-base line, driving in Drobiak, forcing a one-run game. Sastram would single, but Padroff would line out to right field to cut the rally short.