BABSON PARK, Mass. -- April 20, 2007 – Senior Stacy Schlicht (Hillsborough, Calif.) tossed a five-hit shutout and classmates Robyn Woodruff (Clifton, N.J.) and Sarah Rubino (Westport, Mass.) each drove in runs as Babson College won game one of a doubleheader against NEWMAC foe Springfield College, 2-0, on Friday afternoon. The Pride then bounced back with a 3-1 win in game two to earn the split, thanks to a solid pitching performance from sophomore Samantha Rhodes (Mendon, Mass.).
Schlicht (6-4) was nearly unhittable in the opener, as she turned in her finest performance of the season on a day when she and her fellow seniors were honored prior to the start. The crafty righthander gave up just five hits – all singles – while walking two and striking out eight in seven innings. The victory was her sixth of the season and 33rd of her stellar career – placing her third on Babson’s all-time wins list.
Springfield junior Stephanie Blackman (Stamford, Conn.) matched Schlicht through the first five innings, allowing just five hits during that span. However, she finally ran into trouble in the sixth, when a walk and an error put runners on first and second with one out. Junior Jess Byrn (Safety Harbor, Fla.) then singled to deep right to load the bases, and Woodruff followed with a walk to force in sophomore Kaitlyn Clark (Ramsey, N.J.) with the game’s first run. Rubino then added an insurance run with a single to left center, scoring senior tri-captain Darcy Lantz (Kingston, Pa.) to make it 2-0. That would prove to be the final run of the contest, as the Beavers claimed the 2-0 win.
Blackman (10-5) went six innings in defeat, allowing two runs – one earned – on seven hits, walked three and fanned three.
Game two started in bizarre fashion, as Springfield junior Denise Fumicello (Brockton, Mass.) led off the top of the first with an inside-the-park home run on a ball hit to deep left. Babson first-year Michelle Bolduc (Darien, Conn.) made a great effort on the ball as it sailed just out of reach, but she collided hard with the fence as Fumicello scampered all the way around with the game’s first run. Bolduc was shaken up on the play but remained in the contest, and eventually recorded one of the Beavers’ nine hits.
Babson tied the game with a run in the bottom of the first, as senior tri-captain Andrea Cartullo (Holbrook, Mass.) led off with a double to right center and later scored on a one-out double down the right field line by fellow senior tri-captain Alex Lazar (Milton, Mass.). However, that would be the only run for the Beavers against Rhodes, who pitched out of jams in each of the first three innings. Babson left a total of 10 runners on base in the contest, including eight in the first three frames – three in the first, three more in the second, and two in the third.
Springfield regained the lead in the top of the fourth, as sophomore Aimee Cassella (Southington, Conn.) walked with one out and took second on a single to left by sophomore Loni Rodriguez (Westfield, Mass.). First-year Jaimie Moran (Manchester, Conn.) followed with a key double to the gap in right center, scoring both runners and giving the Pride a 3-1 advantage.
After battling through the first three innings, Rhodes settled down to retire 11 of the final 14 batters that she faced. Babson made one final push in the bottom of the seventh, as Clark singled up the middle with one out. Representing the tying run, Lantz hit a shot to deep right that seemed destined to fall just shy of the warning track, but sophomore right fielder Danielle Spiro (South Windsor, Conn.) made a spectacular over-the-head catch and fired the ball back to second baseman Fumicello, who doubled off Clark at first for the final out of the game.
Rhodes (7-6) allowed nine hits but just one run, walked three and struck out four in seven innings of work. Byrn took the loss on the mound for Babson, despite another strong outing in which she allowed three runs on only six hits, walked one and struck out eight. Offensively, the Beavers received three hits apiece from Cartullo and Clark, with Cartullo finishing with five hits in eight at-bats on the afternoon. Moran went 3-for-5 in the two games for the Pride, including a 2-for-3 performance in game two.
Now one game ahead of both Wheaton and Babson in the loss column, Springfield can clinch the NEWMAC regular season title with a doubleheader sweep of MIT on Saturday. Babson will also close out its regular season conference schedule with two games on Saturday, as the Beavers head to Clark. Both twin-bills will begin at noon.