Springfield, Mass. - April 19, 2019 - The Springfield College softball team came from behind and defeated Babson College in walk-off fashion, resulting in a 7-6 victory in the first of two games on Friday afternoon on Potter Field, before the Pride fell to the Beavers, 4-1, in game two to settle with a split in New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) play.
With the split the Pride move to 18-14 overall and 9-7 in conference play while the Beavers, which was No. 5 in this week's NCAA Division III Regional Rankings, fall to 19-11 with a 12-4 mark against league opponents.
Up next, Springfield College will travel to Smith for another NEWMAC doubleheader on Saturday, April 20. First pitch is set for 12 p.m.
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Springfield College 7, Babson College 6 -- Game One
Senior Shelby Allen (Oakland, N.J.) struggled early in the first game, walking three in the first inning before the first hit of the day brought home a run for the visitors. The senior was able to battle back and strike out a pair and then end the rally with minimal damage after the top of the first. The Pride was able to create some momentum of its own when Alexyss Conley (Bloomingburg, N.Y.) took the first pitch she saw on a ride to deep left, one-hoping the wall and placing her at second with a lead-off double. That would be the only action for Springfield that inning as it was unable to capitalize on the extra base hit.
Both teams were kept in check over the next four innings of play as there were only two hits allowed between the two sides. Stellar defensive play helped the Pride stay within a run of the Beavers when Meghan Sastram (Oxford, Conn.) made an impressive diving stop on a ball headed for right field to save a run and bring Springfield to the plate in the fifth.
Junior Marisa Valenti (Trumbull, Conn.) poked a ball down the right-field line to start things off for the Pride in the bottom of the frame. A hard groundball from Sara Mulligan (Cheshire, Conn.) would roll all the way to the wall in left center, scoring Valenti and placing Mulligan on second with a double and the game tied 1-1. Conley would step to the plate with two outs and lift a two-strike pitch over the left-field wall, scoring a pair and giving the Pride its first lead of the day after five full.
The Beavers would answer back with five runs in the top of the sixth as the Pride would fall behind by three runs heading to the seventh and final inning.
Springfield College showed signs of life in the seventh when a single from Valenti and a walk from Mulligan brought Conley to the dish as the tying run. The Beavers intentionally walked Conley to load the bases, before Sastram took a two-strike pitch for a ride into right-center field, clearing the bases and putting her just 60 feet from home with the game tied at six, sending the game to extra innings.
With a runner on third and one out in the top of the eighth, Allie Wheeler (Agawam, Mass.) corraled a fly ball and threw a perfect strike home to catch the Babson runner and preserve the tie heading to the bottom of the inning. Wheeler would step into the box and continue her late-game heroics when she pulled a ball through the left side to plate the winning run, ending the game 7-6 Pride.
Babson College 4, Springfield College 1 -- Game Two
Freshman pitcher Gillian Kane (New Canaan, Conn.) took the ball in the circle to start game two for the Pride and was impressive, surrendering just three hits and no earned runs over 6.0 strong innings of work before being relieved by Valenti in the final frame.
The teams would trade zeros across the board until the bottom of the second inning when Allen singled through the left side to mark the first hit of the game. Wheeler would pick up right where she left off in game one when she roped a one-out double to left-center field to plate the first run of the contest. An error in the top of the third would score a run for the Beavers and prolong the inning, leading to a wild throw that would score two more and leave the score 3-1 Babson after two and a half innings.
Neither team was able to put up any runs in the fourth but Conley would start off the bottom of the fifth with a single, before advancing into scoring position on a passed ball. After a walk put two runners on with just one out, Yaixsa Vargas (Waterbury, Conn.) smacked a ball back at the pitcher who was able to make a great catch and double off the runner at first to end the threat and bring the Beavers up to bat. Babson attempted to build on its lead in the sixth when a triple down the right-field line was followed by a sacrifice bunt. Kane was able to make a nice scoop and toss to home to get the runner and keep the game at 3-1 Babson.
Springfield tried to fuel a two-out rally when Wheeler lifted a ball to deep right that was mishandled by the outfielder and let her get to third base, but a groundout ended the scoring chance and the sixth frame. The Beavers would add one more to its lead when a walk and stolen base made way for a RBI single up the middle, bringing the Pride up to bat needing three to tie and four to win.
Freshman Kayla Stvan (Parlin, N.J.) got the seventh started for the Pride with a rocket single to left field followed by an overthrow from the pitcher on a grounder back to the circle putting two runners on and no outs. A couple of groundouts and a popup would end the game 4-1 in favor of the visitors.