CLERMONT, Fla. – MIT had seven hits, including a perfect 3-for-3 day from freshman Ellie Fodor (Trenton, Mich.), but could not come up with the timely knock necessary to push across a run during a 1-0 setback to Middlebury College in the second of two games on Monday in spring break softball action. The Cardinal and Gray fell to fellow New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) opponent, Williams College, 9-2, in the opener on Monday morning and now stand at 1-6 on the campaign.
The Engineers had baserunners in six of the seven innings against Middlebury but Panthers starter Alexa Lesenskyj (Robbinsville, N.J.) was able to escape the jam each time and hold on for the 1-0 victory.
Middlebury struck for its lone run in the bottom of the fourth, as Jessa Hoffman (Golden, Colo.) led off with a single and was driven in on Jessica Poracky's (Ramsey, N.J.) double over the centerfielder's head.
Tech's best scoring opportunity came in the top of the fifth. Senior Katie Harrington (Lexington, Ky.) earned a leadoff walk and moved into scoring position on senior Jessica Iacobucci's (Phoenixville, Pa.) sacrifice. Senior Nydia Ruleman (Germantown, Tenn.) laced a single to center and Harrington tried to come home but Alex Scibetta (Ridgewood, N.J.) fired a perfect strike to nail Harrington at the plate. Junior Anna Christensen (Vernon Hills, Ill.) ended the inning pop-up to short.
MIT threatened again in the sixth, as freshman Karly McLaughlin (Edwardsville, Ill.) and Fodor hit back-to-back, one-out singles. Fodor was erased on freshman Kelly Wang's (La Canada, Calif.) fielder's choice for the second out but junior Leah Alpert (Needham, Mass.) loaded the bases with the Engineers' third base-hit of the frame. Iacobucci was not able to take advantage of the scoring opportunity, ending the threat with a groundout to short.
Ruleman reached again in the top half of the last, on a dropped third strike, and moved to second on a sacrifice. The senior would stay put, however, as freshman Sarah Van Belleghem (Los Gatos, Calif.) grounded out to the shortstop to close out the game.
McLaughlin was the hard-luck loser, tossing five innings of six-hit ball while allowing just the lone Middlebury run and striking out one. Lesenskyj went the distance, scattering seven hits and one walk to go along with three strikeouts.
In game one on Monday against Williams, the Ephs posted four runs in the first and did not look back, holding the Cardinal and Gray to just two hits in the 9-2 win. Allison Hart (Roswell, Ga.) went 3-for-5 with a two runs scored while Ally Ensor (Sugar Land, Texas) had three RBI and scored a pair of runs. Harrington picked up the lone RBI for MIT with her second-inning groundout to plate freshman Angela Ha (Houston, Texas).
Tech will continue its spring trip on Tuesday with two more games. The Engineers will face No. 12 ranked University of Wisconsin-Whitewater at 9:00 a.m. and NAIA opponent Mount Mercy College at 11:00 a.m.