CLERMONT, Fla. - Freshman centerfielder Lexi Soucie (North Easton, Mass.) hit a second-inning grand slam against WPI (the first Seahawk homerun of 2014) and sophomore Genevieve Benoit (Swampscott, Mass.) followed with a two-run walk-off shot in the fifth inning as Salve Regina won 11-3. Freshman Kelsey Boarman (North Dighton, Mass.) earned her first collegiate victory. The Seahawks later lost, 3-2, to Juniata College, to split their two games on Tuesday at Hancock Park in Clermont, Fla.
With the split, Salve Regina's record stands at 2-6 while the Engineers left with a record of 3-2 and the Eagles improved to 2-5 overall.
The Engineers took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first. Boarman retired the first two batters she faced - lead-off batter Ali LaRue lined out to third baseman Kara O'Riley (Acton, Mass.) who made the grab in foul territory. Second batter Jacquelyne DiTroia grounded to shortstop Nikki Bukovsky (Westport, Conn.) who threw across the diamond to Lauren Fountain (Cheshire, Conn.).
Katie Bumila and Nicole McDonough followed with successive singles before a Boarman wild pitch scored Bumila.
Soucie led off the bottom of the first with a double to centerfield, and advanced to third on a groundout, before scoring on a wild pitch.
Lindsay Gurska singled up the middle but was replaced on the base paths when Hope Shevchuk reached on a fielder's choice. LaRue tripled down the right field line to drive in the go-ahead run.
Sara Nelson (Bristol, Conn) led off the bottom of the second with a walk, and Fountain followed with a base on balls as well. Bukovsky reached on an error to load the bases for Soucie whose grand slam gave Salve Regina a 5-2 lead.
After a scoreless third inning, WPI got one in its fourth while the Seahawks added two for a 7-3 score. Lauren DeFelice had the second triple of the game for the Engineers and scored on a Gurska ground out. Soucie led off the Seahawk fourth striking out, but reaching base on a passed ball. Kelly Davin (Northbridge, Mass.) singled her to third and then stole second base. Jenna Edine (Warwick, R.I.) reached on a fielder's choice to load the bases for Benoit who drew a walk to drive in a run. Seahawks scored their next run on a throwing error.
Bukovsky and Soucie had successive singles to start the fifth, and Davin drove in a run with a grounder to second. Edine had an RBI single before riding home on Benoit's homerun. It marked the first walk-off homerun for the Seahawks since Jillian Quintana's three-run blast at Toppa Field made Salve Regina a 7-5 winner against visiting Endicott (April 6, 2010).
Soucie's sacrifice fly in the top of the second gave Salve Regina a 1-0 lead against Juniata in the 11 a.m. start. The Eagles tied the score with an unearned run in the bottom half.
Salve Regina regained the lead when Edine led off the third with a single, advanced to second on a wild pitch, and third on a sac bunt from Benoit. O'Riley contributed an RBI with a single and moved to third on Nelson's single. With runners on second and third and one out, Salve Regina was unable to bring in extra runs while facing reliever Aly Smith.
Three hits in the bottom of the third gave Juniata two runs to take a 3-2 lead against Dominique Burnham (Scarborough, Maine). Bukovsky's lead-off triple in the fourth was wasted as Smith induced a foul pop and two strikeouts to avoid any damage.
Salve Regina has a day off Wednesday followed by the final two games of its Florida trip (Bowdoin and St. Lawrence) on Thursday.