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Softball Opens 2016 Season by Splitting Two Games

Softball Opens 2016 Season by Splitting Two Games

MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. - The Wentworth Institute of Technology softball team opened the 2016 season off with a five inning 10-2 victory over Chatham University, its first season opening win since 2010 and first career win for head coach Alexandra Campione, in the first game of the day. The Black & Gold dropped the second game to the College of Saint Elizabeth, 12-9, at the NMB Complex Field on Tuesday afternoon.

WENTWORTH 10, CHATHAM 2 (5 innings)
Chatham tallied its only two runs in first inning as sophomore Samantha Crilley (Zelienople, Pa.) scored on a muffed throw by the pitcher followed up by freshman Kylee Sonson (Pittsburgh, Pa.) plating on a double play ball. However, the Leopards earned those two runs back, plus six more.

Through the third and fourth frames, Wentworth racked up a 10-run surge thanks to an eight-run third frame.

To begin the bottom half of the third for the Leopards, senior Heather Pinkston (Concord, Calif.) reached on a fielder's choice to second base that would allow sophomore Vanessa Weymouth (Fremont, N.H.) to plate on a scoring error committed by the second baseman. Wentworth scored the go-ahead runs on two RBI singles by freshman Kathleen Dunn (Hull, Mass.) and sophomore Haley Sabino (Topsfield, Mass.) to give them the 3-2 lead. Errors became a nightmare for the Cougars as five more unearned runs crossed the plate for the Leopards to extend the lead to 8-2.

Wentworth wrapped up the game the following inning as they tacked on two more runs on a throwing error and passed ball committed by the Cougars.

Freshman Erica Norquist (Rutland, Mass.) earned her first collegiate win, pitching a solid five innings and allowed two runs on seven hits, walking just one batter and punching out two. Sophomore Megan Berryman (Middleboro, Mass.) and Pinkston lead the Leopard offense, going for a combined 4-for-7 and scored four runs.

Sonson fell to 0-2 in the loss, allowing 10 unearned runs on 13 hits while striking out three and walking two batters through four innings.

The Leopards launched a six-run attack in the second frame to quickly jump out to the 6-0 lead over the Eagles in the second game of the day. With one out and a runner on third, Dunn sent a single into a center field that plated Berryman for the first Leopards' run. Sabino loaded the bases on a single to right center and was followed by a double launched into center by senior Karsyn Sawyer (Chatham, N.Y.) that tacked on three more runs. Weymouth racked up the final two runs of the inning on a single and later plated on an error.

St. Elizabeth slowly began to start chipping away at Wentworth's lead in its half of the third inning as they cut the lead down to four at 6-2 thanks to back-to-back singles from freshmen Rachael Romer (Sewell, N.J.) and Allie Jenkins (Delanco, N.J.).

Wentworth watched its lead slip away as the Leopards allowed St. Elizabeth to tack on 10 runs over the course of two innings.

The Leopards maintained their lead for the next three innings until the Eagles sparked a four-run sixth inning that squared the score at six. With the bases loaded and one out, sophomore Samantha Albertson (Marlton, N.J.) rocketed a triple to right field that scored both Romer and junior Heather Passaro (Vernon, N.J.) to bring the Eagles within one. Jenkins plated the equalizer on a sacrifice fly to centerfield.

With the game tied, the Eagles hammered out six more runs in the top of the seventh frame that allowed them to take the 12-6 lead. A two-out three run triple by Albertson, her second of the game, extended the Eagles' lead to 9-6, followed up with a double to center by Jenkins that plated Albertson. Jenkins later crossed home plate on an error.

The bottom half of the seventh saw the Leopards begin a comeback of their own. A single to left field from sophomore Rachel Willcutt (Tilton, N.H.) and error on Berryman's fly ball brought in two runs. With two outs, Dunn sent a single to left field that scored Willcutt to bring the score to 12-9. The comeback was cut short on a ground out to the second baseman as the Eagles sealed the 12-9 triumph.

Jenkins improved to 1-1 in the win for the Eagles, pitching seven innings and allowing nine runs (six earned) on eight hits and punched out two batters. Passaro and Albertson led the Eagles' offense, going for a combined 6-for-10 and five RBIs.

Norquist took the loss (1-1) for the Leopards. Weymouth and Dunn both went 2-for-4, combining for four RBI.

Wentworth takes on New Jersey City and Penn College on Wednesday at 3:30 and 5:30.