BRIGHTON, Mass. – First year Christie Bott (Seaford, N.Y.) batted .600 (3-5) with a triple, two RBI and a run scored as Simmons softball (3-13) dropped a pair to No. 5 MIT (2-0) at Daly Field on Wednesday evening.
Slugging her second homerun of the season, junior center fielder Lauren Del Vacchio (Murrieta, Calif.) went two-for-six with two runs scored. First year right-hander Maddie Castigliego (Bristol, R.I.) surpassed her career single-game best, striking out five Engineers in game one.
Game 1: MIT 6, Simmons 2
In game one of the twin-bill, the Engineers jumped on the scoreboard, pushing across a run in the top of the first. Junior third baseman Devon Goetz (Rockville, Md.) opened the game with a lead-off walk then quickly got herself into scoring position with a steal of second. After advancing 60-feet on a ground out to third, Goetz came into score on a ground out by junior catcher Michelle Wist (Cypress, Texas) to give MIT the 1-0 lead.
The was short-lived in part to timely, two-out hitting in the home-half of the frame. Bott lined an opposite field single before getting on her horse and scoring from first on a double up the middle by first year catcher Shannon McMahon (El Cajon, Calif.) to tie the ballgame.
It stood all square at 1-1 as first year right-hander Maddie Castigliego (Bristol, R.I.) retired the Engineers in order in the top of the second. But the Sharks were unable to muster much offense in the bottom of the inning against her counterpart, senior right-hander Ravenne Nasser (Methuen, Mass.).
MIT re-gained the lead in the top of the third, scoring a pair of runs, but Simmons got a run back in the bottom of the half. Sophomore left fielder Ivy Vann (Bend, Ore.) began with a one-out single into right field before advancing to third on passed ball and wild pitch, respectively. Following a walk to Bott, Vann came into score the third Sharks' run on ground out to shortstop off the bat of McMahon to cut the deficit to, 3-2. But it was as close as Simmons came.
The Engineers grabbed a pair in the top of the fourth to extend their lead to, 5-2 as Nasser settled down, retiring the next nine Shark batters – including three by way of the strikeout. McMahon broke up the string, reaching on a throwing error by the third baseman in the bottom of the sixth and scampered into scoring position on wild pitch. But the Sharks were unable to bring her home.
MIT made it a four-run lead, 6-2, scoring once more in the top of the seven, but it was more than enough to give the Engineers their first win of 2019.
Game 2: MIT 14, Simmons 5 – 5 innings
MIT struck first once again in game two. Goetz opened the game with walk before scoring two batters later on one-out homerun by Wist to put the Engineers up 2-0. However, game two starter, sophomore Hailey Yabroudy (Amherst, N.H.) was able to minimize the damage and strand a pair of Engineer runners getting junior Maddie Pickett (Santa Barbara, Calif.) to ground out to second.
In the home half of the frame, Simmons was able to cut the deficit in half. Del Vacchio began the inning pulling a single into left field. Two batters later, she scored on a one-out triple down the right field line to bring the Sharks back to 2-1. But it was also close as they would get.
The Engineers scored three times in the top of the second, before batting around in the third to plate eight runs to take a 13-1 lead. After Simmons got a run back in the bottom of the third, MIT extended its back to 12, 14-2, scoring once in top of the fourth. But the Sharks were not backing down and were able to get to MIT game two starter, sophomore Colleen Campbell (Snoqualmie, Wash.) in the bottom of the frame.
Santoro ripped a one-out double into left-center before scampering to third on a base-hit up the middle off the bat of first year third baseman Alex Morang (Windham, Maine). In a split second, the Sharks were threatening with runners at the corners and only one out. First year shortstop Allie Mulhern (Westford, Mass.) lined a single into center to plate Santoro and move Morang to second.
After Del Vacchio walked to load the bases, Vann worked a bring home Santoro with the fourth Sharks run of the game. Moments later Bott kept the inning alive reaching on a fielder's choice, while in the back door came Mulhern with the fifth run of the game. It was not enough as the Engineers held off the Sharks to earn their second win of the season.
Senior right-hander Tori Gomes (Taunton, Mass.) tossed a solid 2.1 innings of relief allowing just one run on two hits, while striking out one.
- First year right-hander Maddie Castigliego struck out a career-best five Engineers in game one.
- Sophomore Christie Bott went 3-for-5 at the plate with a triple and two RBI.
- Junior Lauren Del Vacchio and sophomore Marissa Santoro each hit .333 on the evening.
Simmons returns to the diamond on Sunday March 24 with doubleheader against Brandeis University in Waltham, Mass. First pitch is slated for noon.