CLERMONT, Fla. – The Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) softball team lost to Nebraska Wesleyan, 3-1, and Messiah, 2-1 in eight innings, Tuesday afternoon at Legends Way Field #3. With the two losses, the Engineers drop to 3-4 this season, while the Prairie Wolves and Falcon improve to 8-2 and 4-2, respectively.
Nebraska Wesleyan took advantage of two first-inning errors to score a pair of runs. Kailey Meyer delivered a two-run single left to lead Hanna Roth and Paige Davidson.
The Prairie Wolves veered on an insurance run in the top of the fourth, when Roth ripped a left base hit that tackled Bre Schneidewind from second for a 3-0 advantage.
RPI, which was limited to just three hits in six innings, mounted a rally in the seventh. Jessica Torch hit on a field single to start the inning, before a lineout and a foul. Gaby Comeau rolled a single across the right side of the infield, before Liv Vizzini brought in a single down the middle to score Torch.
Meyer (4-1) was then able to induce a groundout to end the game. She pitched all 7.0 innings, allowing one run on six hits with six strikeouts. For the RPI, Alexis Cooke (1-2) took the loss, allowing three runs (2 earned) on six hits in 4.0 innings. Brooke Srozinski worked 3.0 perfect innings in relief, striking out a pair.
Messiah broke a scoreless tie late in the third to open the scoring in the second game of the day for the Engineers. Sarah Lippin started the frame with a single bunt, placed second on a sacrifice bunt and third on a short pitch. McKenzie hit the big hit, scoring the midfielder for a 1-0 lead.
Madison Walter, the senior right-hander, held the Engineers scoreless until early in the seventh, when Erin Askin reached on a bunt single in front of Comeau’s fielder’s pick in which the Falcons did not record an out. After a strikeout, Srozinski curled a right-hand single, scoring Torch to tie the game at 1-1.
RPI was able to put two runners in scoring position in the top of the eighth, but Walter was able to escape, recording a lineout and strikeout to send the game to the bottom of the inning.
In the bottom half, rookie Madison Gohn dropped a sacrificial bunt, before Tess Spinosa drove home the winning run.
Walter (2-2) allowed just one run on four hits in 8.0 innings, striking out eight and walking one. RPI starter Erika Holowka (2-2) allowed two runs (1 earned) on seven hits in 7.1 innings. She had six strikeouts and two walks.
RPI is back in action tomorrow afternoon, when they take on Simmons University at 12:15 p.m. The engineers then play a doubleheader with John Carroll, starting at 3 p.m.