CLERMONT, Fla. – In its third matchup of the week against Middlebury College, the MIT softball team enacted a measure of revenge from its two earlier defeats, coming away with a 6-5 win to close out its annual spring break trip to Clermont, Fla. The win snapped an eight-game skid for the Engineers who improved to 2-9 overall as they prepare to enter New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) play on Friday.
Tech's big inning came in the third, as the first five batters reached base and the Engineers posted a crooked number in the frame to take a lead they would not relinquish. Junior Leah Alpert (Needham, Mass.) led off with a base-hit and stole second and senior Katie Harrington (Lexington, Ky.) singled and the moved in to scoring position on defensive indifference. After a walk by senior Nydia Ruleman (Germantown, Tenn.) to load the bases, junior Anna Christensen (Vernon Hills, Ill.) put MIT on the board with an RBI single. The Panthers (3-5) picked up a pair of outs when freshman Karly McLaughlin (Edwardsville, Ill.) flew out and Ruleman was thrown out trying to tag-up but the Engineers added two more runs on senior Jessica Iacobucci's (Phoenixville, Pa.) single.
Freshman Kelly Wang (La Canada, Calif.) added another run in the fourth, on Harrington's groundout to increase the MIT lead to 5-3.
Harrington would drive in Wang once again in the sixth to tack on a much-needed insurance run.
In the top half of the seventh, Jessa Hoffman (Golden, Colo.) and Jessica Poracky (Ramsey, N.J.) hit one-out singles to bring the tying run to the plate. Emily Smith (Winchester, Mass.) brought the Panthers within one with her two-run single but freshman Ellie Fodor (Trenton, Mich.) ended the threat by striking out Kelsey Martel (Concord, N.H.).
Fodor went the distance to earn her first win of the 2012 campaign, allowing four earned runs on nine hits while striking out five. Martel took the loss, giving up four runs over 3.2 innings.
Earlier in the day, Tech fell to sixth-ranked DePauw University, 8-0. DePauw (14-1) starter Emily Bichler (Belgium, Wis.) limited the Engineers to just one hit over four innings and the Tigers took advantage of four MIT errors. Iacobucci gave up seven runs over four innings but only two of those were earned. Rachel MacBeth (Indianapolis, Ind.) had a perfect 3-for-3 day at the plate, scoring a pair of runs and driving in one.
MIT opens its NEWMAC slate with a home doubleheader against Wellesley College on Friday, March 30 beginning at 3:00 p.m.