Northampton, Mass. - April 9, 2017 - Playing its second New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) doubleheader of the weekend, the nationally-ranked Springfield College softball team picked up a pair of wins over Smith College on Sunday afternoon.
With the wins, the Pride, which was ranked No. 20 in the latest National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) National Rankings, improves to 19-3 on the season and 8-2 in league play, while the Pioneers fall to 6-12 on the season with a 3-5 mark in the league.
Three student-athletes hit home runs during the doubleheader, including Allie Wheeler (Agawam, Mass.), Kirsten Drobiak (Griswold, Conn.) and Gabby Alfieri (Cornwall, N.J.). Wheeler picked up her second home run of the year, while Drobiak notched her third and Alfieri hit her first-career homer in game two, and followed it up with a two-run home run later in the game.
Up next, Springfield College will return to Potter Field on Tuesday, April 11 when it hosts Western New England at 3:30 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. in a non-conference doubleheader.
Springfield College 5, Smith 1 -- Game One
Junior pitcher Talia Loda (East Haven, Conn.) pitched a complete-game three hitter as the Pride picked up a 5-1 win over Smith College in the first of two games on Sunday afternoon.
Offensively, Wheeler paced the Pride with three RBI, including a two-run home run in the top of the seventh inning, while Carianna Gasdia (Wakefield, Mass.) went 3-for-4 with a stolen base.
Smith's Natalie Burchat (Shrewsbury, Mass.) took the loss, as she pitched 7.0 innings, giving up 12 hits and five runs. Elodie Townsend (Mill Valley, Calif.) led the Pioneers with two hits in three at bats.
After two scoreless innings, the Pride jumped out to an early 2-0 lead in the top of the third when Drobiak flied out to right, but Rachel Ball (Coventry, R.I.) was able to tag up and come home, before Wheeler singled to short, plating Loda to give Springfield College its second run.
The Pride added to its lead in the top of the six on an RBI single from Loda which scored Alicia Pavadore (Taunton, Mass.), before Smith got one back when Ally Snyder (Succasunna, N.J.) drove home Brittney Blokker (Seattle, Wash.) to make it 3-1, Springfield College.
Wheeler drove a ball deep to left, which cleared the fence with Marisa Valenti (Trumbull, Conn.) on base to seal the 5-1 win for the Pride.
Springfield College 10, Smith 8 -- Game Two
Eight student-athletes picked up at least one RBI as the Pride overcame Smith College, 10-8, in game two to complete the sweep of Smith College on Sunday afternoon. Shelby Allen (Oakland, N.J.) earned her fifth win of the season, pitching 4.0 innings and giving up two earned runs, while Nicole Cring (Cooperstown, N.Y.) got the nod, and pitched 3.0 innings, giving up four earned runs while striking out a pair.
Alfieri picked up her first-career home run in game two, as she poked a two-run home run in the top of the third. Additionally, Ball,, Wheeler, Drobiak, Loda, Kayla Padroff (Southington, Conn.), Sam Cox (Longmeadow, Mass.) and Alexyss Conley (Bloomingburg, N.Y.) all earned RBI in the contest.
Springfield College got the bats going in the top of the first when Wheeler roped a single up the middle, scoring Gasdia, before Smith countered with an RBI single from Snyder in the bottom half of the frame. Alfieri picked up her first home run in the top of the second, a solo shot to make it 2-1, Pride, before the maroon and white broke open the lead on a home run from Drobiak, followed by an RBI double from Cox, which scored Wheeler, and a two-run dinger from Alfieri to make it 6-1, Pride, after three.
Smith picked up four runs in the bottom of the third and followed with a three-run bottom of the fourth to make it 8-6, but the Pride rallied with three runs in the top of the fifth, including RBI doubles from Conley and Ball, followed by an RBI single from Loda which scored Ball to make it 9-8, Pride.
The Pride notched an insurance run in the top of the sixth when Padroff singled, scoring Drobiak, to seal the 10-8 win.