Springfield, Mass. - April 8, 2017 - In a New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) battle, featuring two teams that are currently ranked in the National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) National Rankings, the Springfield College softball team split a doubleheader with MIT on Saturday afternoon at Potter Field.
Springfield College, which was No. 20 in the latest National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) National Rankings, is now 17-3 overall and 6-2 in NEWMAC play, while MIT, which was No. 19, is 11-3 on the year and 3-3 in conference.
Leading the Pride on the day was two strong outings from junior pitcher Talia Loda (East Haven, Conn.), as she picked up her tenth win of the year in the game one, before pitching 7.0 innings, giving up six hits and one earned run in game two.
Up next, Springfield College will travel to Northampton, Mass. on Sunday, April 9 to play another NEWMAC doubleheader with Smith College at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m.
No. 20 Springfield College 9, No. 19 MIT 1 -- Game One
A nine-run bottom of the fourth inning for the Springfield College softball team proved to be the difference in the first of two games, as the Pride defeated MIT in a battle among two nationally-ranked teams at Potter Field on Saturday afternoon.
Loda was strong in the circle for the Pride, as she pitched 5.0 innings, giving up no earned runs and striking out nine, while MIT used three pitchers on the day. The Engineers' starter, Ravenne Nasser (Methuen, Mass.) took the loss to drop to 4-2.
Offensively, the Pride was led by junior Kirsten Drobiak (Griswold, Conn.), who went 2-for-3 at the plate with a pair of RBI, as Meghan Sastram (Oxford, Conn.) and Kayla Padroff (Southington, Conn.) each picked up two RBI as well.
MIT would strike first in the top of the third when Natalie Shifflet (Poway, Calif.) singled to left, scoring Monica Shifflet (Poway, Conn.) to give the Engineers a 1-0 lead.
The Pride got on the board in the bottom of the fourth inning when Alexyss Conley (Bloomingburg, N.Y.) reached on an error, scoring Allie Wheeler (Agawam, Mass.), before Sastram roped a two-run single to left, plating Padroff and Mackenzie Navarro (Taunton, Mass.) to make it 3-0.
From there, Loda drove in Conley with a single to left, before Drobiak doubled off the right center field fence, scoring Loda and Sastram to make it 6-1, Pride. After Carianna Gasdia (Wakefield, Mass.) scored on a wild pitch, Padroff stepped up and laced one up the middle, scoring Drobiak and Wheeler to cap the nine-run inning.
Loda was able to pick up the final three outs in the top of the fifth to complete the victory for Springfield College.
No. 19 MIT, No. 20 Springfield College 0 -- Game Two
It was an absolute pitchers duel in the second leg of Saturday afternoon's doubleheader on Potter Field, as MIT was able to escape with a 1-0 victory over the Pride to settle for a two-game split. Nassar was effective in the circle, as she pitched 7.0 innings, giving up just six hits while striking out seven. Loda was equally as strong, but suffered her first setback of the season.
MIT took a one-run lead in the top of the fifth inning when Michelle Wist (Cypress, Texas) dropped a bunt down the third base line, which was tossed home, but Jasmin Joseph (Woodland Hills, Calif.) beat the tag to give the Engineers a 1-0 advantage.
The Engineers were threatening in the top of the seventh with the bases loaded an no outs, but Loda forced back-to-back infield ground balls, which were both thrown home to get the force out. With two outs, Wheeler made a great play to catch a fly ball to left that was going foul to get Loda out of the jam.
In the bottom half of the frame, Cox singled up the middle with one out to get the rally started, but Nassar forced a line-out to left field, before Gasdia grounded out to first to end the game.