TITUSVILLE, Fla. – Senior first base Dom Ortiz (Lawrence, Mass.) and sophomore second base Hailey Lowell (Pelham, N.H.) each collected a double to lead the Simmons University softball team in a 3-1 loss to Worcester Polytechnic Institute this morning at Chain of Lakes Park in Titusville, Fla. as part of the Sunkissed Games in the season opener for both teams. The Sharks fall to 0-1, while the Engineers improve to 1-0.
Sophomore Hailey Yabroudy (Amherst, N.H.) made her first collegiate pitching start for Simmons, allowing three runs (two earned) on nine hits and three walks in six innings of work. Ortiz doubled and Lowell collected her first career double for the only hits for the Sharks.
Junior pitcher Mackenzie Phillips (Gill, Mass.) allowed just one run on two hits to earn the complete-game win for WPI and struck out six, while issuing three bases on balls in seven innings. Senior third base Caraline Wood (Averill Park, N.Y.) was 2-3 with a double and a run scored, while sophomore right fielder Kaitlyn Hess (Milford, N.H.) reached in all three plate appearances with a pair of singles and a walk as the only batters on the day with multiple hits to lead the Engineers. Senior first base Renee LeClaire (Merrimack, N.H.) knocked in a run with a double and sophomore second base Marissa Gonzales (Oakley, Calif.) singled home a run as well.
WPI got all of its scoring with two runs in the second and one in the third innings. Senior left fielder Kylie Juarez (Elk Gove, Calif.) reached on a one-out single to left field in the bottom of the second and sophomore designated player Skylar O'Connell (North Attleboro, Mass.) later reached on a single up the middle to give the Engineers a pair of baserunners with two outs. Hess beat out a ground ball up the middle, but the Simmons shortstop's throw to first was errant, allowing Juarez to come around to score the game's first run. Gonzales followed with an infield single to first base as O'Connell scampered home with the second run.
WPI tacked on another run in the third when Wood reached on an infield single and LeClaire belted an RBI-double to left center field to make it 3-0.
Phillips carried a no-hitter into the top of the seventh for the Engineers, but Ortiz ended the bid with a double down the right field line to open the frame for the Sharks. Phillips looked to avoid any trouble after retiring the next two batters, but Lowell laced a run-scoring double just inside the right field line to put Simmons on the board at 3-1. Phillips stranded her at second to come away with the victory.
The Sharks return to action today at Chain of Lakes Park, taking on Randolph College at 2:30 p.m., while the Engineers play Bluffton University at 12:45 p.m.