March 26, 2007
FORT MYERS, Fla. - MIT's softball team opened its season with a pair of games in Fort Myers, Fla., yesterday, as the squad battled Union College and Middlebury College as part of the Gene Cusic Collegiate Classic. The Engineers dropped both games, falling to Union, 7-4, before losing to Middlebury, 9-0, in five innings.
The Cardinal and Gray fell to 0-2 with the losses, while Union improved to 3-3 and Middlebury jumped to 2-2 with the victories.
Tech found itself in an early hole in the first game against the Dutchwomen, surrendering a run in the first and four in the third to trail 5-0 after three innings. However, the Engineers showed a tremendous amount of grit to claw their way back into the game, putting together a four-run top of the fifth to pull within one run.
Junior Holly Jeffrey doubled to start the rally, and the bases were loaded just three batters later following a single by Melissa Tanner and a hit-by-pitch. Center fielder Amanda Poteet hit an RBI single to drive in Jeffrey and keep the bases loaded before junior Amanda Jason launched a bases-clearing triple to cut the deficit to 5-4.
However, Union added an insurance run in the bottom of the fifth before tacking on a final tally in the sixth to make the final score 7-4.
Junior Leah Bogsted took the loss on the mound for the Engineers, surrendering 12 hits and six earned runs while striking out three and walking two. Ginni Sack tossed a complete game for the Dutchwomen, allowing seven hits and four runs while notching three strikeouts.
The second game of the afternoon pitted the Cardinal and Gray against a powerful Middlebury team and the Panthers' junior hurler Brittany Burke, who threw a gem, limiting the Engineers to just one hit over five innings. She added two strikeouts without walking a batter and had a perfect game bid broken up when freshman Lauren Balek singled with one out in the fifth.
Three runs in the first, five in the second, and one in the third were all that Middlebury needed, as the game was stopped after five innings with the final score at 9-0.
Balek allowed nine hits and six earned runs while striking out four and walking none in her collegiate debut.