CAMBRIDGE, Mass. - The Simmons College softball team was swept in double-header action by nationally-ranked number 25 Massachusetts Institute of Technology this afternoon, losing the first contest, 11-1, before dropping the second game, 8-0 this afternoon at Briggs Field in Cambridge, Mass. Both game were halted after five inning due to the eight-run mercy rule. The Sharks fall to 9-18 on the season, while the Engineers improve to 20-4.
Senior third baseman Brianna Rastello (Salem, N.H.) led the Simmons offensive effort, going 2-5 with a walk on the day, while first year center fielder Molly Hennessey (Charlton, Mass.) cracked a double on the day.
MIT rapped out 12 hits and took advantage of four errors to score in every inning it had an at-bat in to secure a game one victory.
Junior Jasmin Joseph (Woodland Hills, Calif.) led off the bottom of the first with a triple to left center and senior Natalie Shifflet (Poway, Calif.) singled her home on a bunt to the pitcher to give MIT the early 1-0 lead. In the second, first year Devon Goetz (Rockville, Md.) reached and moved to second on a dropped fly ball by the right fielder. She came around to score two at-bats later when a throwing error by the pitcher went over the first baseman's head. Joseph then scored MIT's third run on an RBI infield single by first year Michelle Wist (Cypress, Texas).
The Sharks got on the board in the third to cut the deficit to 3-1. Senior first baseman Alison Gauvin (Whitefield, Maine) reached on a two-out error and Rastello followed with a single to put Gauvin into scoring position. First year shortstop Ashley Lynch (Shrewsbury, Mass.) singled up the middle to bring home Gauvin with the visitors' first run of the day.
MIT added three more runs in the third with the first of the frame coming on an infield ground out by N. Shifflet that scored sophomore Ravenne Nasser (Methuen, Mass.), who singled to shortstop to begin the inning. Wist doubled home two more runs in the inning to give the home team a 6-0 lead. The Engineers put the game out of reach in the fourth with a five spot and junior Deanna Delgado (Miami, Fla.) worked her way out of a bases loaded jam in the top of the fifth for the 11-1 win in game one.
The fourth inning saw first year Sierra Rosenzweig (Anchorage, Alaska) bring home senior Ali Trueworthy (Rochester, N.H.) on an infield single, Joseph bring home Goetz on a ground out, an RBI triple by senior Helen Rosenthal (Bethesda, Md.) that scored Rosenzweig and a ground out by senior Monica Shifflet (Poway, Calif.) that brought Rosenthal home from third.
Nasser improved to 10-3 with her four inning effort in the circle for MIT. The sophomore tossed 53 pitches (38 for strikes), scattered three hits, struck out five batters and allowed one unearned run. Delgado, who came on in the fifth for MIT, walked two and struck out two, to end game one. Simmons starter Alex Soqui (Acushnet, Mass.) shouldered the loss (1-3) on two and two-thirds innings, eight hits, six runs (one earned), one walk and two strikeouts.
MIT wasted no time in game two, swinging the bats right away and coming away with a 7-0 lead following the first inning of play. Joseph began the frame with a double to left center and was brought home in the next at-bat on an RBI single to right by M. Shifflet. With runners on first and second, first year Sarah Von Ahn (West Linn, Ore.) plated both junior Zoe Hinton (Aurora, Colo.) and M. Shifflet on a single to center to make the score 3-0. The Engineers proceeded to load the bases as Goetz earned a walk for MIT's fourth run and Joseph cleared the bags with a three-run triple down the left field line.
The MIT offense added one more in the bottom of the fifth to end the game by the run rule. After the Engineers loaded the bases once again – this time on a Rosenzweig bunt single, a fielding error by the pitcher, and a walk by sophomore Erika Anderson (Carlsbad, Calif.), Goetz hit the ball to shortstop and the throw came home, but Rosenzweig beat the throw to give MIT the 8-0 five inning victory and both ends of the doubleheader.
In her fifth start of the spring, MIT sophomore Amber VanHemel (Coconut Creek, Fla.) was dominant in the circle. In her four innings of work, the sophomore allowed just four runners to reach base. Freshman Alex Hanselman (Naperville, Ill.) came out of the pen for the Engineers in the top of the fifth. Despite allowing a one out double and single in back-to-back at-bats, Hanselman settled down to get the final two outs – one on a pop out and one on a fly out to preserve MIT's advantage heading to the bottom of what proved to be the final frame of the game.
Simmons hurler Tori Gomes (Taunton, Mass.) gave up eight runs (all earned), ten hits and three walks over four and one-third innings this afternoon in the nightcap of the twinbill for the Sharks.
Simmons returns to action on Wednesday, April 19 when it heads to Standish, Maine to take on Great Northeast Athletic Conference foe Saint Joseph's College at 4:00 p.m., while MIT welcomes Tufts University for a non-conference doubleheader at 3:00 p.m. on the same day.