Clark Breaks Out the Bats in a Doubleheader Sweep of MIT

April 20, 2007

Box Score - Game 1
Box Score - Game 2

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. - Junior Heather Warren belted a grand slam and tossed a complete game shutout on Friday afternoon, to help visiting Clark University sweep a New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) doubleheader from MIT on Briggs Field. The Cougars pounded out 24 hits over the two-game span, earning victories by scores of 21-1 and 12-0.

Both games were shortened to five innings.

Clark improved to 17-13 overall and 8-6 in the NEWMAC with its first successful conference sweep of the season. Previously, the team from Worcester, Mass., had split all six of its twinbills. The Engineers dropped to 1-22 and 0-14 with the losses.

A pair of freshmen - second baseman Lauren Blake and pitcher Melissa Traft - led the offensive charge for the Cougars with five RBI apiece over the course of the two games. Warren drove in four runs, all on her grand slam in the second inning of game two. The homerun was her conference-leading 11th of the season to go along with her NEWMAC-best .510 batting average.

The first game of the afternoon saw Clark take advantage of extended innings following costly Tech errors, as all ten runs that the Cougars scored in the opening two innings were unearned. In fact, 20 of Clark's 21 runs in game one were of the unearned variety, as the Cardinal and Gray were unable to recover from seven errors.

The Cougars' seven-run first inning was highlighted by RBI base-hits by Darcy Kurashige-Elliott, Kaitlin Kelley, Blake and Traft. They picked up three more in the second, thanks in part to a Kelley RBI-single, as she punched a hit through the left side to drive in Kurashige-Elliott.

Clark added 11 more in the top of the fourth frame, with Traft and Blake each driving in a pair, while junior Julie Parnell and freshman Chelsea Proulx both added an RBI.

The Engineers grabbed some consolation by breaking up the shutout bid in the bottom of the fifth inning. Freshman catcher Kasey Rowe led off with her third double of the season before advancing to third on an error. Junior Joy Dunn then drove her in to pick up her first RBI of the year.

Traft (10-4) earned the victory on the mound for Clark, allowing just three hits and one earned run while striking out four and walking none in five innings of work. Freshman Priscilla Army (0-3) tossed 3.1 innings, allowing ten hits and 14 runs, but remarkably, just one was earned. She picked up four strikeouts to go along with seven walks. Junior Amanda Poteet threw 1.2 innings in relief, allowing seven runs (all unearned) on three hits and striking out three while issuing just one free pass.

The nightcap again saw the Cougars jump out to an early lead and never look back, as a Lauren Ackein two-RBI triple to right center in the first inning set the tone for the rest of the evening.

Clark added six to its run-total in the top of the second, aided in large part by Warren's grand slam. Freshman Joanna Clark and Blake drove in the other two runs.

The visitors scored their final runs of the night in the fourth frame, as Traft smashed her first homerun of the year after a Warren triple and a Clark walk.

MIT threatened to cut into the lead in the bottom of the fourth, as consecutive singles by Leah Bogsted, Amanda Jason and Chelsea Ostrander loaded the bases with one out, but a sharp line drive to center by Rowe was dealt with before the inning was ended on a fielder's choice.

Warren moved to 5-6 on the season by tossing the complete game shutout, as she struck out two and walked none while surrendering just five hits. Bogsted (1-9) threw all five innings in taking the loss, allowing 12 runs (ten earned) on 11 hits while striking out five and walking two.

The Engineers will conclude their regular season NEWMAC schedule tomorrow afternoon with a doubleheader at Springfield College beginning at 12:00 p.m., while Clark will host Babson College in a conference twinbill at the same time.