NEWPORT, R.I. (April 16, 2019) -- Salve Regina University sophomore pitcher Andi Nelson (Candia, N.H.) recorded her fifth shutout of the season, and fourth time by a 1-0 score, as the Seahawks split with the visiting Engineers of MIT in non-league softball action at Toppa Field. The Seahawk right-hander improved to 14-4 on the season with her complete-game, two-hit performance while striking out 10 batters. MIT (19-6) defeated Salve Regina (18-15) in the nightcap, 6-0, behind a combined two-hit performance by pitchers Colleen Campbell (Snoqualmie, Wash.) and Amber VanHemel (Coconut Creek, Fla.).
Much like last season in Cambridge, Nelson ended a season-long win streak for MIT. In a 5-2 win on April 24, 2018, Nelson stopped the Engineers' streak at 20 games. Since returning from Florida, MIT had won 12 straight after a loss to Babson College on March 29. In between then and now the Engineers had posted eight of their nine shutouts on the season, including five by Game One starter Ravenne Nasser (Methuen, Mass.).
Nelson outdueled the NFCA National Pitcher of the Week (April 1-7) in today's 1-0 masterpiece. Both pitchers issued leadoff walks to start the game; Nelson stranded Devon Goetz (Rockville, Md.) at second base after striking out two and getting a fly out to left to end the top of the first.
Lindsey Florent (New Bedford, Mass.) worked the count full before drawing her leadoff walk in the Seahawk half of the first. Maddie Machado (Westport, Mass.) drilled a 3-2 pitch into right field to advance Florent to third. After a strikeout on another 3-2 pitch, the Seahawks scored the game's only run when Nikki Vanelli (Quakertown, Pa.) bounced a 3-2 pitch in between the circle and first base and Florent beat the throw home.
Vanelli had a pair of stolen bases and Amanda Riley (Barrington, N.H.) had two of Salve Regina's six hits in the game. Both Engineer hits off Nelson came in the fourth inning as Julia Chatterjee (Hinsdale, Ill.) led off with a single to center and was sacrificed to second. Sarah Von Ahn (West Linn, Ore.) beat out an infield grounder to third before Nelson got another strikeout and fly out to end the threat. Nelson retired the final 11 batters she faced.
Goetz tripled to left to lead off the game and scored on Chatterjee's sacrifice bunt. Seahawk starting pitcher Courtney Latta (Lowell, Mass.) limited the Engineers to four hits and one earned run in the first four innings.
Florent once again led off the Seahawk first with a base on balls but was stranded at third. Lauren Packer (Manchester, Conn.) got Salve Regina's first hit off Campbell in the second but the Engineer hurler got two Seahawks swinging and missing to end that frame. After MIT added an unearned run in the fourth for a 2-0 lead, Vanelli singled to lead off the bottom of the fourth and was followed by a Holly Kathios (Pelham, N.H.) walk.
The left side of the MIT infield executed cut down plays perfectly on the next two Seahawk attempts to advance the runners. Allie Gusmano (Orange, Conn.) and Packer both reached on successive fielder's choices while MIT third baseman Goetz pounced on a bunt and wheeled to third with shortstop Madi Pickett (Santa Barbara, Calif.) covering to erase Vanelli. Pickett picked Packer's grounder and fed Goetz for the putout on Kathios. A popout to Goetz ended the Seahawk threat.
Sierra Rosenzweig (Anchorage, Alaska) led off the fifth with a single and was sacrificed to second. After a grounder to short and a walk kept Rosenzweig on the bag at second, Anya Chase (Wells, Maine) chased her home with a single for a 3-0 lead.
Latta looked like she was going to get her first 1-2-3 inning in the seventh when she retired the first two Engineers, but a four-pitch walk to Pickett was followed by three straight extra basehits by Chase, Von Ahn, and Michelle Wist (Cypress, Texas) for a 6-0 advantage. The last 10 Seahawks to bat failed to reach base.
Salve Regina now owns a 5-4 mark in the all-time series and has won two of the last three decisions. The Seahawks face Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) foe Roger Williams on Thursday in Bristol. The Engineers return to league play (NEWMAC) with home doubleheaders against Smith College and WPI on Friday and Saturday.