BOSTON, Mass. – Playing their second doubleheader in less than 24 hours, the Massachusetts Maritime Academy softball team nearly claimed its first win of the year in game one, holding the lead through five. A late Wentworth Institute rally game the hosts the 6-5 victory and they claimed a 10-1 win in game two.
Continuing a recent trend, the Bucs gave up runs early, as Wentworth plated two in the first. However, the softballers mounted their best offensive attack in tying the game in the third before mounting a go-ahead rally two innings later.
In the third, Rachel Gardner reached on an inning-opener dropped fly ball and Kaylene Murphy bunted her over. Another error put early season star Melissa Cochrane on board and Sarah Monteiro brought home Gardner on a grounder and Cochrane then scampered home on a wild pitch. Jill Corazzini was stranded after a single, but the Bucs were tied 2-2.
Meanwhile, Jenni Nalette was sailing along in the circle, having allowed only one earned run in the first and retiring eight in-a-row into the fifth.
MMA's lineup put Nalette in a position to win her first game of the year in the top of that fifth inning. Once more, Gardner put the ball in play and reached base on a dropped fly ball, moving to third on an error that brought Cochrane aboard. Cochrane stole second, her second of the year, and Gardner scored a batter later as Monteiro laid down a sacrifice, reaching first on another miscue by Wentworth.
Corazzini, who was the only Buc to hit safely in both ends of Friday's doubleheader at Fitchburg, made the Leopards pay, singling through the left side to plate Cochrane. After a flyout, Corazzini advanced on a wild pitch and then scored as Madison Ovadek beat out an infield single. Ovadek would advance on a passed ball before Carli Thomas walked, but a big groundball got Brionna Myers out of the inning with Maritime ahead 5-2.
Alas, Nalette run out of gas in the later frames, and Wentworth scored a run in the fifth and two more an inning later. In the bottom of the seventh, Nalette got the first out, but a Deanna DiPilato single was followed by a safety by Rachel Willcutt and Caroline Shea lofted a fly ball to left to score DiPilato with the walkoff victory for the Leopards.
Corazzini led the Bucs with a 2-for-4 effort, while Cochrane and Gardner scored two runs. Myers was 3-for-3 for WIT, earning her first win on the mound (1-7) with the complete game victory. She allowed five runs, but all were unearned and she worked around six hits and two walks. Myers struck out just one Buc.
Nalette (0-4) took the tough-luck loss, surrendering five earned runs on 12 hits and only two walks, whiffing one.
It was an entirely different story in the rubber match as Maritime took the first lead before the Leopards jumped on Buc starter Carli Thomas and continued their offensive onslaught against Cochrane in relief.
The Bucs' lone marker came after Cochrane reached on an error to lead off the game, one of six on the day for WIT. Murphy once more laid down the bunt to advance her to second and Cochrane flashed her speed again, swiping third to set up Ovadek, who lofted a ball to right to drive her home.
Wentworth players had two hits, led by Megan Berryman, who laced a pair of two-baggers, while Kacey Russo had a triple and a one-base hit. Thomas (0-1) lasted two frames, allowing four, while Cochrane spun a pair of innings herself, giving up five. Meanwhile, Kayla DeMedeiros (3-5) tossed a two-hitter, allowing only the unearned run, avoiding any free passes and whiffing one.
After three doubleheaders in four days, Head Coach Kathleen L'Abbe will have a few days off to digest the games before continuing her time leading the Buc road warriors. Maritime plays at Becker (4-8) at 3 p.m. on Thursday before returning to MASCAC play on Saturday at Salem State (7-7) at noon.
Gabriel Fidler, Sports Information Associate