CAMBRIDGE, Mass.—Third-seeded Babson College split a pair of games on the opening day of the New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) Tournament at Briggs Field on the campus of MIT on Wednesday. The Beavers edged sixth-seeded Wellesley College 4-2 in their opener before suffering a 1-0 loss the second-seeded and 19th-ranked Engineers.
The Beavers (24-14), who were seventh in the second NCAA regional rankings, slip into the NEWMAC Tournament loser's bracket and face the task of winning five games over three days in a quest to capture their second championship in three years.
NEWMAC Tournament Game #2: Babson 4, Wellesley 2
First-year Isabel Aguilar (Avon, Conn.) went 2-for-2 with a triple and two RBI, and senior Josephine Mares (Houston, Texas) finished with a double, a triple, and RBI and a run scored for the Green and White. Junior Katie Gademsky (Hillsborough, N.J.) struck out three and allowed two runs over 4.0 innings in her first postseason start to improve to 13-5 on the year with the win. Classmate Brooke Stock (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) fanned three and retired all nine batters she faced to collect her fifth save of the year.
Junior Kendall Smith (Turlock, Calif.) went 3-for-4 with two doubles and two runs scored to lead the Blue's seven hit attack. Classmate Autumn Brown (Marshfield, Mass.) was 2-for-3 with a double and sophomore Gen Brittingham (Aliso Viejo, Calif.) drove in a run in the loss. First-year Hayley Moniz (Westfield, Mass.) went the distance giving up four runs on eight hits to drop to 4-6 on the year.
Smith led off the game with a double and scored on Brittingham's two-out single through right side to give Wellesley (11-16-2) a 1-0 lead in the top of the first. Mares started the bottom of the frame with a double to left, junior Jacqueline Paul (Burlington, N.J.) worked a two-out walk, and Aguilar gave the Beavers the lead with a triple to the wall in right center.
The Blue wasted Brown's leadoff double by stranding her at third in the top of the second, and Babson took advantage by pushing its lead to 3-1 when Mares tripled to the gap in right center to drive in junior Tori Roche (Andover, Mass.) with two outs in the bottom of the inning. Wellesley pulled within 3-2 when Smith scored on a sacrifice bunt in the third, but hit into a double play with two on and no one out in the fourth and had Smith cut down at the plate by Beavers' senior Alex Corrigan (Middletown, N.J.) after a leadoff double in the fifth.
The Green and White tacked on an insurance run in the bottom of the six when Aguilar scored on Roche's sacrifice fly to left.
NEWMAC Tournament Game #4: No. 21 MIT 1, Babson 0
Stock (11-8) tossed a complete game striking out three while giving up three hits and three walks for the Beavers. Corrigan doubled, while Paul and juniors Annie Mitchell (Rehoboth, Mass.) and Kayla Schinik (Watchung, N.J.) all singled in the loss.
Michelle Wist (Cypress, Texas) went 2-for-2 with a double and a walk to lead the Engineers' offense. Senior Ravenne Nasser (Methuen, Mass.) was superb in the circle for MIT (26-8-1) striking out six while giving up four hits and three walks to improve to 15-5 with the complete-game win.
Nasser got out of a first-and-second one-out jam in the first, and Babson stranded two more runners in the fourth when junior Victoria Casey (Emerson, N.J.) followed a two-out double by Corrigan. Mares was unable to advance after working a one-out walk in the fifth, and the Green and White couldn't move Paul over after she started the sixth with a single to left.
Stock retired seven straight batters from the first through the third and got a strikeout and two fly outs after starting the fourth with a hit batsman and a walk. Wist doubled off the wall in right center with one out in the bottom of the sixth and first-year pinch runner Deborah Torres (Portage, Mich.) came around to score two batters later when classmate Anya Chase (Wells, Maine) bounced a single through the right side for the only run of the game.
Both teams return to action on Friday in Worcester as Babson takes on fourth-seeded Springfield at 12 p.m., while MIT faces top-seeded WPI at 4 p.m.
• The Beavers are 5-3 all-time in the postseason against Wellesley and is now 3-4 versus MIT, which includes three straight one-run losses.
• With the game one victory, Babson head coach Dave Canan recorded the 497th win of his career.
• Since 2017 the Beavers are 8-5 in NEWMAC Tournament games decided by two runs or less.