Del Vacchio Leads Softball with Third Home Run, Despite Sweep by MIT

Del Vacchio Leads Softball with Third Home Run, Despite Sweep by MIT

BOSTON, Mass. -- Sophomore Lauren Del Vacchio (Murrieta, Calif.) collected three hits, including a home run to lead the Simmons College softball team in a pair of losses to visiting Massachusetts Institute of Technology, dropping the first game, 7-1, before losing the second contest, 8-0, this evening at Daly Field in Brighton, Mass. The Sharks fall to 15-13 on the season, while the Engineers run their win streak to 16 straight to improve to 25-4-1.

Del Vacchio led Simmons, going 3-5 with a home run, a walk, a run batted in and a run scored, while first years Marissa Santoro (Franklin, Mass.) and Hailey Yabroudy (Amherst, N.H.) each collected a double for the Sharks. 

Sophomores Madi Pickett (Santa Barbara, Calif.) and Michelle Wist (Cypress, Texas) combined for seven hits and nine runs batted in to lead MIT. Pickett was 3-7 with a double and a triple to drive in five runs, while scoring a run, while Wist was 4-6 with four RBI, including a three-run homer and scored two runs to go with a stolen base. Senior right fielder Katherine Shade (Glencoe, Ill.) contributed with four hits, including a double and knocked in two runs to go with three runs scored and sophomore third base Devon Goetz (Rockville, Md.) tripled and homered to plate a pair of runs and score two runs. 

The Engineers broke into the scoring column with a pair of runs in the top of the first of game one to take a 2-0 lead. Goetz was hit by a pitch and senior second base Amanda Lee (Saratoga, Calif.) worked a one-out walk and both runners moved into scoring position on a ground out. Shade topped a slow roller to third that she was going to beat out for an infield single and plate Goetz, but the throw was wide of first to allow Lee to score as well. 

Simmons wasted no time in countering when Del Vacchio deposited a 2-2 pitch over the left field fence to lead off the bottom of the first and cut the deficit to 2-1. MIT pitching was able to get the next 36 outs, including the second game, without allowing another run. 

The Engineers put four more runs on the board in the third with the benefit of two errors in the frame and timely hitting from Wist and Pickett. Wist reached on a two-out infield single to bring home Lee, who reached on an error to increase the visitor's lead to 3-1. MIT loaded the bases to set up a three-run triple to the right center gap off the bat of Pickett from the nine-hole in the order to break the game open and give the Engineers a 6-1 cushion. MIT added another run in the seventh when Shade stroked a leadoff single to left and came around to score when Pickett tattooed a ball off the right center fence for a double. 

First year right-handed pitcher Colleen Campbell (Snoqualmie, Wash.) picked up the win to improve to 8-1 for the Engineers after giving up a run on five hits and a walk, while striking out five. Senior righty Juliet Nelson (Cumberland, R.I.) (10-5) suffered the loss for the Sharks, allowing six runs (one earned) on five hits and two walks to go with a strikeout for the Sharks. Junior reliever Michaela Reeves (Reading, Mass.) was able to keep the visitors off balance in her four and a third innings of work, giving up one run on four hits and a walk, while striking out three. 

Junior starting hurler Amber VanHemel (Coconut Creek, Fla.) tossed a two-hit shutout in game two, while fanning seven batters and issuing two walks to improve to 4-1 for MIT. 

All of the scoring for the night cap was done in the top of the first two frames for the Engineers. MIT took advantage of two errors and homered twice in addition to a triple to score six runs before Simmons even came up to bat. Senior center fielder Jasmin Joseph (Woodland Hills, Calif.) beat out an infield single and circled the bases ahead of an inside-the-park homer down the right field line off the bat of Goetz to give the Engineers a 2-0 margin. Lee followed with a hustle triple to right field, before being cut down at the plate by SC first year left fielder Ivy Vann (Bend, Ore.), when trying to score on an overthrow. Sophomore Sarah Von Ahn (West Linn, Ore.) and Shade both reached on errors, before Picket plated Von Ahn with a single to right. Wist followed with a three-run blast over the center field fence from the eight-spot in the order to give MIT a 6-0 advantage. 

The Sharks loaded the bases in the bottom of the first with Del Vacchio and sophomore center fielder Molly Hennessey (Charlton, Mass.) both reaching on bases on balls to bookend Vann reaching on a fielder's choice. VanHemel bared down though and retired the next three hitters in order, including two on strikes and only faced two batters over the minimum in the next four innings. 

The Engineers tacked on two more runs in the second to give them the necessary eight runs for an eventual mercy-rule victory. Joseph opened the second with a bunt single, stole second and third and later scored on a Von Ahn ground out. Lee also hit safely in the inning with a single and later scored when Shade laced a double to left center to make it 8-0. 

Sophomore Alex Soqui (Acushnet, Mass.) (3-6) was saddled with the loss for Simmons after giving up six runs (two earned) on five hits. Reeves was solid in relief again for the Sharks, allowing two runs on four hits and no walks to go with three strikeouts. 

Simmons returns to action on Saturday, April 21 when it heads to Providence, R.I. to take on Great Northeast Athletic Conference foe Johnson & Wales University for a 12:00 p.m. doubleheader, while MIT travels to Northampton, Mass. to play New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference rival Smith College for a 3:00 p.m. twinbill.