CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Simmons College scored twice in the top of the ninth inning to hand host MIT an 8-6 defeat in non-conference softball action on Briggs Field Tuesday. The Engineers led for most of the afternoon but were unable to hold onto a 5-2 advantage, falling to 0-1 for the 2011 campaign. Bensey Schnip had three hits for Tech and knocked in a pair of runs while Jessica Iacobucci went the distance in her season debut.
With the score tied after seven innings, the teams went to extras where each squad would plate a run in the eighth to extend the game. In the top of the ninth, Christina Mulcahy put the Sharks (3-7) on top with a run-scoring double and came home on a base hit by Emily Colligan. Despite three hard-hit balls, the Cardinal and Gray was retired in order in the bottom half of the frame, falling in the season opener for the second year in a row.
The Engineers got on the board first in the bottom of the second, with Michelle Dion's single plating Keri Dixon from second. The Sharks tied things up in the third with an unearned tally, as Steph Murray reached on an error and was eventually scored on a sacrifice fly by Emily Nalband.
Tech wasted no time responding in the bottom half of the inning. Jessica Oleinik hit an RBI triple and came home on Bensey Schnip's single. Dixon would score her second run of the game later in the inning to put the Cardinal and Gray ahead, 4-1. Schnip added another RBI in the fourth with a single to score Katie Harrington and give the Engineers a 5-2 lead.
Simmons would score a pair of unearned runs in the fifth and bring across another in the sixth to send the game into extra innings.
Iacobucci was the hard-luck loser, as just two of her eight runs allowed were earned. The junior hurler struck out six batters and stranded 10 Simmons baserunners. Keri Dixon was two-for-five, crossing the plate twice while Oleinik scored once and drove in a pair.
MIT will open conference play with a home doubleheader tomorrow against WPI. Weather permitting, the first game will begin at 2:30 p.m. The Sharks will be off until next Saturday, March 26 when host St. Joseph's (Conn.) in a Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) doubleheader.