Worcester, Mass. – Lauren Mackey (Dublin, N.H.) brought home the game-winning run with a sacrifice fly to left field and Clark University used an improbable rally to earn a split with the nation's No. 19 team Springfield College on Friday afternoon.
Mackey's game-winning RBI capped a three-run seventh inning that saw the Cougars not only snap a 35 inning scoreless streak but end their 13-game losing streak overall.
Game 1 Score: Springfield 2, Clark University 0
Game 2 Score: Clark University 3, Springfield 2
Records: Springfield (23-5, 9-3 NEWMAC); Clark University (6-16, 1-11 NEWMAC)
How It Happened In Game 2:
The Cougars were down to their final three outs and were being held at bay by Springfield hurler, Shelby Allen, who was working effectively through six innings.
She ran into trouble almost immediately, walking Taylor Erickson (Natick, Mass.) and pinch hitter Sami West (Gonic, N.H.) before a slow rolling infield single by another pinch hitter – Sarah Woods (Littleton, Mass.) – loaded the bases.
Christina Kopacz (North Grosvenordale, Conn.) sent a rocket down to first base that was targeted for the right field line, but Pride first baseman Kirsten Drobiak was able to snag it and beat her to the base. Erickson, however, was able to beat the throw home, slicing the lead in half.
Clark's next run came when Jocie Orangio (Maynard, Mass.) saw her single sneak through the infield and bring home West, knotting the game at 2-2.
Jordyn Moquin came on in relief for Springfield but she was facing Mackey, who worked the count full before smashing a deep fly to left that scored pinch runner Leah Bodin (Andover, Vt.) with the winning run.
Inside The Boxscore (Game 2):
Erickson was strong in the circle for the Cougars, tossing a complete game seven hitter where she only gave up two unearned runs.
Amazingly, no player on either team had more than one hit but Mackey did have a double to go along with her RBI.
How It Happened In Game 1:
Talia Loda was spectacular in the circle for the visiting Pride, allowing just two hits and striking out nine in the series opener. Clark's West was just as impressive, fanning nine with no walks, but yielding five hits – four of which were for extra bases.
The Pride's first run came in the second when Gabby Alfieri was hit by a pitch to lead off the inning and then came around to score on Meghan Sastram triple to right center.
West kept the Springfield bats quiet bats until Ally Wheeler took a pitch deep over the center-field fence for her fourth home run of the season, providing Springfield College with an insurance run.
Clark was threatening in the bottom of the sixth, but Loda was able to get out of the jam by fanning Kendra Walker (Cumberland, R.I.) and she then went on to earn the final three outs in the bottom of the seventh to seal the win.
The Cougars visit Coast Guard Academy on Saturday for a NEWMAC doubleheader beginning at 12:00 p.m.