March 31, 2007

MIT Swept by Smith in NEWMAC Doubleheader

March 31, 2007

Box Score - Game 1
Box Score - Game 2

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. - The Engineers opened their New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) schedule with a pair of home games against Smith College on Saturday afternoon at Briggs Field. The visiting Pioneers emerged victorious in both contests, picking up a hard-fought 6-3 win in the first game before powering to a 12-3 triumph in the second half of the twinbill.

MIT fell to 0-2 in the NEWMAC and 1-9 overall with the two losses, while Smith improved to 6-8 (2-2 NEWMAC).

Junior center fielder Niki Banton was clutch for the Pioneers, as she finished the day 4-for-8 with three RBI and a run scored. All three of her runs-batted-in came in the first game, in which she amassed three of her four hits. Megan Kiefer, a freshman second basemen, was also huge for the visitors, going 5-for-9 with two RBI and four runs scored over the course of the afternoon, while senior second basemen Chloe Pete went 5-for-10 with three runs scored.

Junior Amanda Poteet was Tech's most potent offensive threat, tallying three hits in six at-bats while driving in two runs. Juniors Amanda Jason and Holly Jeffrey and freshman Lily Keung also accounted for two hits each over the course of the doubleheader.

A pair of juniors squared off against each other in the afternoon's first game, with Emily Hiltzik (4-2) picking up the win for the Pioneers, going the complete game while allowing eight hits, three runs (all earned) and striking out four. MIT's Leah Bogsted (1-3) also went the distance, allowing 12 hits, six runs (three earned) and fanning six.

Smith got the scoring started in the first inning with a two-out rally, as Deborah Sasges walked before Banton brought her home with a triple.

MIT answered in the bottom of the second when freshman Lauren Balek singled, was moved over by a Jason sacrifice bunt and was then knocked in by a Jeffrey single.

However, the Pioneers retook the lead in the top of the third with an unearned run, then proceeded to add an additional pair in each of the fourth and fifth frames, with Banton, Kiefer and Crystal Fryer all notching RBI-singles to extend the lead to 6-1.

The Cardinal and Gray scored single runs in the fifth and seventh innings, but were unable to bring the deficit any closer, leaving the final score at 6-3. The Engineers' rally was highlighted by a two-out double by sophomore Kaitlyn McCartney, who was driven home by a Keung single.

The second game saw Smith senior Dezerai Fisher (2-4) pitch brilliantly, giving up just four hits and one earned run while striking out five in the complete game effort. Poteet (0-2) and Balek split time on the mound for Tech, with each allowing eight hits and six runs, though just one of Poteet's and four of Balek's were earned. In four innings of work, Poteet notched three strikeouts, while Balek didn't walk a batter in working the fifth, sixth and seventh frames.

Smith took a 2-0 lead in the second inning with junior Kathryn Schoenen driving in the first run before scoring the second on a wild pitch.

The Pioneers added one run in the third before putting up three runs in each of the fourth, fifth and seventh innings, highlighted by a Kiefer RBI-triple in the fifth.

MIT showed a bit of fight in the bottom of the fourth, picking up a pair of runs on an RBI-groundout by Jason - who is leading the team with a .313 batting average - and a run-scoring double from Poteet. However, it wasn't enough to overcome the Pioneers' powerful offense, which put up a dozen runs to earn the 12-3 victory.

The Engineers will return to action on Tuesday, Apr. 3, when they will travel to Wheaton College to face the NEWMAC rival Lyons in a doubleheader, with the first game scheduled to start at 3:00 p.m. Smith will travel to Elms College on Monday, Apr. 2, to play a single game at 4:00 p.m.