M.I.T. bests Western Connecticut in NCAA Regional opener, 7-2

Williamstown, Ma --MIT's Senior pitcher Lexi Marshall ended the Western Connecticut State University Colonials' 5 game win streak in the first round of NCAA regionals at Williams College as the Engineers topped WConn, 7-2.. With just 4 hits, no walks, and 11 strikeouts, Marshall's record improves to 21-9 while the Engineers improve to 29-11, which ties their record for most wins in program history. The Colonials' record falls to 23-18.

WSCU pulled the first punch in the top of the first inning when Alex LaFemina singled to third base, moved to second on an illegal pitch, advanced to third off Jenna Gaudioso's sacrifice bunt, and finally scored off another illegal pitch.

The Engineers answered in the bottom of the third inning when Katie Shade singled with 2 outs to drive home Natalie Shifflet. With the bases loaded WSCU pitcher Emily Cintorino was able to keep her composure and retire the side, keeping the score tied at 1-1.

In the bottom of the fourth inning Engineers struck gold again when Emily Cintorino scored on a beautifully placed infield single laid down by Lydia Walter.  MIT threatened to open up the inning when Alexandra LaFemina blasted a single to center field with runners on first and second, but Candace Lawrence was able to trap MIT runner Jasmin Joseph in a rundown between second and third for the last out of the inning.

MIT added two runs to their 2-1 lead in the bottom of the fifth inning after Tori Jenson opened up the inning with a single through the right side and pinch runner Lisa Zhu scored off of a sacrifice fly by Ali Trueworthy. Zoe Hinton then singled to right field and scored off a sacrifice fly by Kim Veldee, putting the Engineers ahead 4-1.

The Colonials offense finally returned in the top of the sixth when Candace Lawrence reached first on an infield single and was driven home after Erin Weber belted a single through the left side. MIT pitcher Lexi Marshall stopped the damage there and retired the side to maintain her team's 4-2 lead.

But the WCSU celebrations were short lived as the first three MIT hitters reached base with a single by Natalie Shifflet and 2 walks for Jasmin Joseph and Amanda Lee.. With 1 out Alle Sabith entered the game to pitch for Cintorino and quickly got the second out of the inning, but not before Lydia Walter was driven home by Tori Jensen. Katie Shade then singled to center field and earned 2 RBI's driving home Joseph and Lee to give the Engineers a commanding 7-2 advantage at the close of the sixth inning.

The Colonials were unable to score any more runs in the top of the seventh, and that wrapped up the game for the Engineers.