CLERMONT, Fla. - After having its first two double headers of the season cancelled due to poor weather, the MIT softball team escaped the cold by traveling to Florida for its annual Spring Trip. On the first day of the trip on Saturday, the Engineers fell to Concordia University Wisconsin, 6-5 in nine innings before falling to North Central College (Ill.), 2-0. Tech is currently 0-2 on the newly started season.
In the first game against Concordia, MIT was led by freshman Monica Shifflet (Poway, Calif.) with her two runs. Fellow freshmen Mackenzie Donnelly (Helena, Mont.) and Natalie Shifflet (Poway, Calif.), and sophomore Alexandra Marshall (Glen Head, N.Y.) also added a run apiece. At the mound, Marshall allowed nine hits and six runs, while striking out 16 batters.
The score remained locked at zero until the bottom of the third, when Monica Shifflet singled and freshman Ali Trueworthy (Rochester, N.H.) tripled, allowing Shifflet to score the first run of the game. Concordia answered with a run of its own at the top of the fourth when Jennifer Reicher led off with a single and stole second when Mariah Geisseman walked. It was Carly Sobrilski that sent Reicher home to tie the score.
With a scoreless fourth inning for the Engineers, Concordia took a three-run lead at the top of the fifth when Katie Landherr, Alexis Holsten and Jessica Liszka all scored. Things got interesting at the bottom of the fifth when the Cardinal and Gray scored three more runs to, once again, tie the score. Donnelly made it home on a passed ball and was followed soon after by Monica Shifflet, who scored off a Marshall single. Junior Sarah Van Belleghem (Los Gatos, Calif.) singled and advanced to second when freshman Emily Van Belleghem (Los Gatos, Calif.) lined out to third base, allowing Marshall to make it to home plate.
In the seventh inning, Holsten scored her second run, but Concordia did not hold the lead for long, as Natalie Shifflet scored her first collegiate run at the bottom of the seventh. To break the tie, the game continued into the ninth inning, where Holsten tripled, allowing Landherr to score, once again, and giving Concordia a one-run lead. MIT tried to answer with a run of its own, but the inning ended before it was able to do so.
Tech got eight hits in the low scoring game against North Central later on in the day. MIT had a number of opportunities to score, but were thwarted each time by the opponent. Junior Ellie Fodor (Trenton, Mich.) did a good job at the mound, allowing only four hits and two runs in her six innings, striking out six batters.
At the top of the second, it looked as if MIT might score when Trueworthy doubled and Monica Shifflet singled, leaving runners on second and third with two outs. However, the next batter was out at first, ending the inning before any of the Engineers could make it home.
North Central scored its only two runs of the game at the bottom of the fifth inning. With bases loaded, Taylor Ryan singled and Jordan Johnson was out at second, allowing Cecie Portillo and Brooke Kehoe to score. MIT was not able to get the two runs that it needed to tie the score and the game ended.
Tech has a very busy week ahead of it in the Sunshine State. Tomorrow, the Engineers will face Carleton College at 5:00 p.m. and the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh at 7:00 p.m.