Softball Falls to WPI, 8-6; Ortiz Hits First Homer of Season

Softball Falls to WPI, 8-6; Ortiz Hits First Homer of Season

KISSIMMEE, Fla -- The Simmons College softball team was defeated by Worcester Polytechnic Institute, 8-6, this afternoon at the Osceola Softball Complex's Field 5 in the Sunkissed Games in Kissimmee, Fla. The Sharks fall to 1-6 on the season, while the Engineers improve to 6-3.

WPI scored four runs in the bottom of the sixth inning to erase a one-run deficit and take an 8-5 lead before holding on for the victory.

Both teams rapped out double-digit hits, including 10 for Simmons. Sophomore second base Lauren Del Vacchio (Murrieta, Calif.) was 3-4 with a pair of doubles, a run batted in and a run scored for the Sharks, while junior third base Dom Ortiz (Lawrence, Mass.) was 2-3 with a home run and two RBI. Sophomore center fielder Molly Hennessey (Charlton, Mass.) finished 2-3 with a walk and first year right fielder Ivy Vann (Bend, Ore.) got on base three times with a single and a pair of walks. Senior starting pitcher Juliet Nelson (Cumberland, R.I.) 

Junior third base Caraline Wood (Averil Park, N.Y.) led the Engineers, going 2-4 with two RBI, while junior first base Renee LeClaire (Merrimack, N.H.) belted a triple and knocked in a run as part of a 2-4 day. Senior center fielder Ama Biney (Worcester, Mass.), first year shortstop Marissa Gonzales (Oakley, Calif.) and senior right fielder RiAnna May (Westminster, Colo.) each collected a pair of hits and drove in a run with Gonzales scoring three times as well.

Sophomore Cassie Graca (Somerset, Mass.) reached first and scampered to second on an error by the Simmons first base, before Biney plated her with a single through the left side to knot the game at 5-5 in the bottom of the sixth for WPI. Senior second base Nina Murphy-Cook (Roseville, Calif.) followed with a single to left field to drive in Biney with the go-ahead run. Gonzalez drew a walk, before May singled to center to score Murphy-Cook with the seventh run and put Gonzalez on third. Gonzalez later scored on a passed ball to give the Engineers an 8-5 lead heading into the final frame.

The Sharks looked to rally when Ortiz blasted her first home run of the season deep over the center field fence to pull them to within 8-6. It was as close as Simmons would get as WPI held on for the win.

The Sharks cracked the scoring column first when Del Vacchio led off the game with an infield single and later scored on an Ortiz RBI single up the middle. The Engineers answered with a pair of runs in the bottom of the inning to take a 2-1 edge. Biney led off with a single of her own, stole second and cruised home on a double down the left field line off the bat of Gonzalez. Wood followed with a base hit up the middle to bring home Gonzales for WPI.

Simmons counter punched with two runs in the top of the second when junior left fielder Michaela Reeves (Reading, Mass.) singled through the left side to start the inning and came around to score on a double to right center on a 3-2 pitch by Del Vacchio to tie the contest at 2-2. Del Vacchio went to third on a wild pitch and Vann worked a bases on balls to put runners on the corners and set up a double steal situation, where Vann was caught in a run down between first and second, but not before Del Vacchio scored to give the Sharks the lead again at 3-2. WPI evened the score with a run in the bottom of the third when Gonzales sent a one-out single through the right side, stole second and scored on a single through the left side by Wood to make it 3-3.

The Engineers took advantage of a Simmons miscue in the bottom of the fifth when May reached on an error and circled the bases ahead of a triple to right field off the bat of LeClaire to give them a 4-3 edge. The Sharks rallied for a pair of runs in the sixth to reclaim the lead at 5-4. First year catcher Rachel Pfeiffer (Melrose, Mass.) received a free pass to start the inning and later scored on a single to right by Vann to tie the game at 4-4. Hennessey followed with a single up the middle and sophomore designated player Alex Soqui (Acushnet, Mass.) hit a fly ball to right field that Vann tagged up on at second and advanced to third to put runners on the corners for Simmons. The Sharks scored their second run of the contest on a run down, when Hennessey got hung up between first and second, allowing Vann to score the go-ahead run before the out was made to end the inning.