CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Freshman Ellie Fodor (Trenton, Mich.) struck out six Clark batters to earn her second consecutive shutout win, as MIT secured a split with visiting Clark University at Briggs Field on Friday afternoon. The Engineers bounced back after an 8-4 setback in the opener to take the nightcap, 2-0 and improve to 7-16 on the season and 3-5 in New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) play. The Cougars move to 12-14 overall and are 3-9 in the conference.
Fodor, who struck out a school record 16 in her last appearance, went the distance of game two, allowing just three Clark hits and one walk.
The Cougars jumped out to an early 3-0 lead in the opener and eventually led by as many as eight before the MIT bats sparked a late rally that would ultimately come up short. Mel Melkonian (Worcester, Mass.) reached base on a hit by pitch to start things off and moved to third on one of her four stolen bases in the game. Erin Murphy (Boxborough, Mass.) plated Melkonian with an RBI-single and would score on a two-out, two-run base-hit by Shawna Amatucci (Shrewsbury, Mass.).
Melkonian added her second run of the game in the third inning with a delayed steal of home and then drove in a pair with her double in the fourth.
Down to their final out of the game in the bottom of the sixth, junior Anna Christensen (Vernon Hills, Ill.) delivered a two-run single through the right side to score junior Leah Alpert (Needham, Mass.) and senior Jessica Iacobucci (Phoenixville, Pa.). With two down in the seventh, Alpert knocked a single up the middle to score a pair and cut the Clark lead to 8-4. That would be as far as the rally would go, however, as freshman Fodor grounded out to first to end game one.
Nicole Meuse (Hudson, Mass.) went the distance to earn the game one win, allowing four runs on six hits while striking out seven. Iacobucci took the loss for the Cardinal and Gray, surrendering six runs on eight hits over 3.1 innings. Freshman Karly McLaughlin (Edwardsville, Ill.) was solid in relief for the Engineers, pitching 3.2 innings while giving up just one earned run and striking out five.
It was Tech that struck first in game two, as Christensen drew a leadoff walk in the second and scored on Fodor's RBI single. Junior Emily Creedon (Stoneham, Mass.) would plate Fodor two batters later with another base-hit. The Engineers nearly added another run but McLaughlin was erased at home trying to tag up on a terrific throw from the Clark centerfielder, Meghan Lennon (Charlton, Mass.).
Fodor also flashed the leather a bit on the mound, snaring a line-drive right back at her in the top of the fourth and doubling off the runner on first.
Melkonian would reach on an error to start the sixth, bringing the tying run to the plate for the Cougars, but the junior was thrown out by Creedon trying steal third and Fodor got Tatiana Chunis (Sutton, Mass.) to fly out to right to end the frame. Fodor then retired the side in order in the seventh to pick up her second shutout win in consecutive starts.
With the win, Fodor improves to 4-6 on the season. Hayley Buckheit (Camden, Maine) took the loss for the Cougars, allowing just one earned run on five hits over six innings.
The Engineers will continue its league slate tomorrow, traveling to two-time NEWMAC champions, Coast Guard Academy, for a doubleheader, beginning at 12:00 p.m. The Cougars will host Wellesley College for a noon doubleheader on Saturday as well.