BABSON PARK, Mass. – At its second New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) double header in two days, the MIT softball team dropped both of its games to Babson College, falling 8-7 in the first game and 9-2 in the second. The Engineers are now 4-10 on the season and 1-3 in NEWMAC play, while the Beavers improved to 12-7 and 4-2 in conference action.
In the first game, sophomore Tori Jensen (Holliston, Mass.) went 2-for-4 with one run scored and an impressive five RBI. Junior Sarah Van Belleghem (Los Gatos, Calif.) and freshman Natalie Shifflet (Poway, Calif.) were the only Engineers to score two runs apiece, with Van Belleghem going 1-for-3 and Shifflet going 2-for-4 with one RBI. In the second game, Shifflet was 1-for-4 with one run and one RBI and junior K.K. Wopat (Edwardsville, Ill.) went 1-for-3 with one run scored.
Jensen led the charge in the first game, hitting the Engineers' first home run of the season and tallying three RBI when she sent Van Belleghem and Shifflet home ahead of her in the third inning. After two Babson runs in the first inning and one in the second, the score was tied at three heading into the fourth.
Babson took a five-run lead in the bottom of the sixth, giving the Engineers just one inning to lessen the gap. Freshman Mackenzie Donnelly (Helena, Mont.) opened by singling up the middle, advanced to second when classmate Ali Trueworthy (Rochester, N.H.) singled, and made it home when Shifflet doubled.
Trueworthy and Shifflet scored off a Jensen double, and, when junior Karly McLaughlin (Edwardsville, Ill.) singled, Van Belleghem, who started the inning by being walked, made it home and scored MIT's fourth running of the inning. With a score of 8-7 in favor of the Beavers, a fly out ended the game.
Wopat gave MIT a 1-0 lead at the top of the second, which the Beavers answered with a two-run homerun in the next inning courtesy of Meghan Hayes. The score remained at 2-1 until the bottom of the fourth when Christa Shorette homered, also allowing Lindsey Schmid to make it home, giving Babson a 4-1 lead.
In the top of the fifth, Shifflet singled to third base and advanced to second on a throwing error by the third baseman. When Van Belleghem was caught out, Shifflet advanced to third and scored when Jensen reached first on a fielding error by the second baseman. With a single by McLaughlin, Jensen advanced to second, but the inning ended with the two being left on base. Babson further increased its lead in the fifth inning, scoring five runs off three hits, giving it a 9-2 advantage over the Engineers that lasted until the end of the game.
MIT's first home games of the season will be played on Friday, April 4 when NEWMAC foe Emerson College comes to campus for games at 3:00 and 5:00 p.m. The next day, Tech will host Springfield College at 12:00 and 2:00 p.m. at its fourth consecutive NEWMAC double header.