Nighthawks Offense Overpowers Wildcats for Sunday Sweep

Photo Credit: Dylan Foran
Photo Credit: Dylan Foran

CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. - The Nighthawks offense produced 21 runs in eight innings total, the best two-game output of the season for Newbury in the sweep of the Wheelock Wildcats on Sunday afternoon in New England Collegiate Conference play at Pine Manor Softball Field.

Game One: Newbury 12 - Wheelock 0 (Final-5)

Although the Nighthawks offense was electric, freshman Mallory Stefan (Thronton, Colo.) pitched a complete-game of five innings, allowing just two hits and recorded her first career shutout as the Nighthawks defeated the Wildcats 12-0 in the opening game of Sunday's doubleheader.

Stefan helped her cause at the plate, batting 2-for-3 with a RBI single in the first. Freshman Arianna Gooden (Bakersfield, Calif.) finished 3-for-3 with a double and three RBIs. Sophomore Tina Babcock (Ayer, Mass.) and senior Elizabeth Kia (Kea'au, Hawaii) both batted 2-for-2, Babcock knocked in two, Kia, a single RBI.

Wildcats sophomore Samantha Leahon (Castleton, N.Y.) was the only Wheelock player to reach base safely, batting 2-for-2, both singles. No Wildcat advanced further than second during the game.

The Nighthawks offense got firing with a two-out rally in the first. A walk and a single put two on with Gooden coming to the plate. A Gooden single put the Nighthawks out in front 1-0. A wild pitch doubled the lead and Stefan's single to left made it 3-0. A Babcock double and Kia single would put the final runs on the board with the Nighthawks leading 5-0 after one.

The Nighthawks added one in the second on a Gooden single for a 6-0 lead.

The bottom of the third started with two Nighthawks in scoring position with no outs. Back-to-back errors by the Wildcats would add two more runs for a 8-0 lead. A Gooden double and another Babcock single were among more runs for the Nighthawks, who finished the third inning ahead 12-0.

Stefan and the Nighthawks retired the final six batters, consecutively, finishing the game in five innings.

The victory moves Stefan to 3-7, while the loss for Wildcats freshman Hanna Gootee (Hampton, N.H.) drops her to 1-6.

Game Two: Newbury 9 - Wheelock 1 (Final-5) 

Nighthawks sophomore Noelle Sass (Randolph, Mass.) batted 2-for-3, including her second triple of the season, as the Nighthawks offense rolled to a 9-1 victory over the Wildcats, sweeping the doubleheader on Sunday afternoon.

Babcock and Kia both batted 1-for-2, each player with two RBIs. Gooden and senior Naomi Ricciotti (Pheonix, Ariz.) both scored twice for the Nighthawks.

Leahon batted 1-for-3 in the second game of the doubleheader, scoring the only Wildcats run. Sophomore Dominique DelBene (Peabody, Mass.) knocked in Leahon on a sacrifice fly in the first.

The Wildcats threatened early, loading the bases in the first inning with no outs. Two batters later, the DelBene sacrifice fly put the Wildcats ahead 1-0. The Wildcats looked as though they would double the lead on a wild pitch, but junior Rachael Simpson (Littleton, Mass.) was cut down at home, ending the inning.

The Nighthawks struck back again with a two-out rally in the first. With sophomore Alina Milauskas (Elkridge, Md.) on third, a series of three walks would bring in Milauskas, tying the game, 1-1. A wild pitch scored Ricciotti for a 2-1 lead. Following a walk, Kia singled to right, scoring two and a wild pitch put the fifth run on the board for a 5-1 lead.

The Nighthawks were at it again in the second, kicking off the inning with a Sass triple. She later scored on a wild pitch. With one out in the inning, the Nighthawks had two in scoring position and a Babcock single drove those two runners in, giving the Nighthawks an 8-1 lead.

One more run in the third on a Vieira single to left would put the Nighthawks ahead 9-1. 

Milauskas got the start for the Nighthawks, pitching five innings and allowing one run on four hits, striking out three. The win moves her to 4-4 this season. Wildcats senior Maggie Doyle (Kingston, Mass.) got the start allowing five runs and falling to 0-7 with the loss.

The Nighthawks sweep moves them to 7-11 (4-0 NECC), while the pair of losses drops the Wildcats to 1-13 (1-3 NECC).

It's a quick turnaround for both teams as they return to NECC play tomorrow afternoon. The Nighthawks travel to Becker College for a pair starting at 3:00 p.m. The Wildcats host Southern Vermont College starting at 3:30 p.m.