SPRINGFIELD, Mass. – April 5, 2008 – Jenna Harvey and Beej Grundlock hurled complete game victories in leading the Wellesley College softball team over Springfield College, 5-1 and 7-3, this afternoon at SC’s Potter Field in blustery conditions.
The games matched the New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference regular season champions (Springfield) and the NEWMAC Tourney champs (Wellesley) from a year ago. With the wins, Wellesley this season upped its overall record to 13-4-1, and NEWMAC record to 6-2. Springfield, which has now lost four straight, is 9-11 overall, 3-5 in NEWMAC play.
Game #1 was more of a pitchers dual between Wellesley’s Harvey, a senior righthander from London, Ontario, and Springfield’s Samantha Rhodes, a junior from Mendon, Mass. Harvey, last year’s NEWMAC Pitcher of the Year, threw a no-hitter the last time she played on this field when she helped her team defeat Babson, 1-0, in the NEWMAC title game last season.
Today’s game #1 was scoreless through four innings. Wellesley then broke through in the top of the fifth. Sophomore rightfielder Ilana Orloff (Weston, Mass.) knocked in an unearned run to give the Blue a 1-0 edge. But the Pride tied it in the bottom of the sixth on an RBI single by sophomore catcher Michelle Wlosek (Nutley, N.J.). Moments later, with runners on first and second, junior DP Danielle Spiro (South Windsor, Conn). singled to center. But the go-ahead run was cut down at the plate on a great throw by Wellesley senior centerfielder Meghan Sullivan (Markam, Ontario). And seconds later, on the same play, a second SC runner was gunned down at third by senior catcher Kara Wong (Milford, Mass.). The unusual double-play allowed the game to remain tied at 1-1 entering the top of the seventh.
In that inning, Wellesley scored four runs, all after one was out, on four hits, two errors, and a sacrifice fly. Wong knocked in what proved to be the winning run with a single. Other RBI’s in that inning were produced by sophomore leftfielder Megan Wood (Jacksonville, Fla.) on a single, by Sullivan on a single, and by Harvey on a sacrifice fly to deep left.
Harvey allowed only one run on four hits. She struck out 10 and walked four as she improved her record to 6-2. Rhodes took the loss and is now 7-4. She gave up five runs, only three of which were earned, and six hits. She struck out five and walked four.
In game #2, Springfield took a 2-0 lead with a pair of runs in the bottom of the second inning on RBI-singles by freshman first baseman Jessica Hillman (Seymour, Conn.) and junior shortstop Shanda Kogut (Preston, Conn.).
But Wellesley struck for five in the third on four hits, one walk, and an error. Wong knocked in the first run on an error. Two runs actually scored on the play. Sophomore first baseman Alex Warren (Delta, BC) knocked in another run on a ground out. Two more runs scored on a Wood single and a Sullivan double.
Springfield scored an unearned run in the fourth to close the gap to 5-3.
But Wellesley put an exclamation point on the day with two more runs in the top of the seventh. Wong homered to left with one out to make it 6-3. The next batter, Warren, just missed a home run to right by inches, settling for a double. Wood then singled to plate the final run.
For the Blue, junior righthander Beej Grundlock (Blackwood, N.J.) remained unbeaten at 6-0, going the distance. Grundlock allowed three runs (two earned), and seven hits. She struck out 11 and walked five. Wellesley pitchers had 21 strikeouts on the day. The loser was freshman Katie Anderson (Andover, Mass.), now 1-4. In 6 and 1/3 innings, Anderson allowed seven runs (only four earned) and eight hits. She walked three and struck out one.
Springfield will next play Smith in a doubleheader Monday at 3:30 pm at Potter Field. Wellesley will meet Tufts at home Sunday at 1 pm.