March 18, 2008
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. - Trailing by nine runs after a half inning, the MIT softball team chipped away at the lead, before exploding for five runs in the bottom of the seventh to steal an 11-10 win over Simmons College in its season opener on Wednesday. Cheryl Kwinn's triple down the right field line scored Jenny Li to cap a remarkable afternoon in which the Engineers belted out 15 hits and produced all their scoring damage with three scattered innings of pure offense.
In the first ever meeting between the teams, the Cardinal and Gray handed the Sharks their second loss of the season. Simmons (9-2) had just arrived back from a fantastic Florida trip, in which it went 8-1.
Heading into their last at bat, the Engineers still trailed 10-6, but rallied with a barrage of hits that began with Keri Dixon tripling to right field and Amanda Jason delivering an RBI single to center. After an out, in which Jason advanced to second, Chelsea Ostrander singled her home with another knock up the middle. Kaitlyn McCartney followed with a single to left and took second on a miscue, with Ostrander scoring on the play. Li doubled to right center, scoring McCartney, before Kwinn struck for the game-winner. It was an unlikely comeback considering Simmons ignited for nine runs on seven hits in the first stanza. Emily Nalband led off with a triple to center and scored on Ann Talarico's single, with the latter advancing to second on an error. Natalie West reached on a two-base miscue, scoring Talarico. West advanced to third on a passed ball.
So unbecoming was the first frame for Tech that even when pitcher Jessica Oleinik recorded Tech's first out on a strikeout, the runner reached first on an error by the catcher.
After West scored on a passed ball, Dannie Szabo walked, with Leah Derderian moving to second. Sam Green followed with a single to right, as Szabo and Dederian advanced to make it second and third with still nobody out. Kelsey Hasick reached on an infield hit, scoring Derderian. After the Engineers recorded their first two outs of the day - one in which they threw a runner out at the plate - the Sharks continued the onslaught, with the big blow being Nalband's three-run double to right. Talarico added an RBI double and West drove in the ninth run on a single.
It wasn't until the third inning that MIT showed any sign of offense. But when Tech's lineup started to produce, it paid off in big dividends. The Engineers struck for four runs on four hits, as Oleinik drove in a pair and Dixon also added an RBI single. An error accounted for the other tally.
MIT continued to roll in the fifth as Leah Bogsted singled to center and Dixon followed with a double to left-center. Jason's grounder to first scored Bogsted as Dixon advanced to third. Oleinik singled to left, scoring Dixon. Simmons added a run as in the seventh as Annie Thompson scored on a passed ball to give the Sharks a 10-6 lead, before MIT completed one of the more remarkable comebacks in the school's history.
Dixon went a perfect 4-for-4 with an RBI and three runs scored, as Oleinik drove in three runs while going 3-for-4. Jason went 2-for-4 with two RBI and two runs scored.
Simmons was led by Nabland who went 2-for-5 with three RBI and two runs scored.