CAMBRIDGE, Mass.—Sophomore Madi Pickett (Santa Barbara, Calif.) drove in the game-winning run with two outs in the bottom of the eighth inning as 18th-ranked MIT rallied to defeat visiting Babson College, 3-2, in the New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) Tournament championship game on Sunday afternoon at Briggs Field.
Babson, which is sixth in the most recent NCAA regional rankings, falls to 27-16 overall and now must wait and see if it receives on of 19 at-large bids when the NCAA Tournament field is announced on Monday at 1 p.m. MIT (33-7-1), which recorded two straight one-run wins over the Beavers, captured the program's first NEWMAC Tournament title.
The loss spoiled another fantastic effort by senior Ali Reilly (New Canaan, Conn.), who struck out five while allowing just two earned runs on seven hits in 7.2 innings. She went 2-2 while allowing just two earned runs over 26.2 frames in four conference playoff appearances.
Sophomore Victoria Casey (Emerson, N.J.) had two hits, junior Annie Quine (Santa Monica, Calif.) and sophomore Jacqueline Paul (Burlington, N.J.) doubled for the Green and White. Quine and Tango also drove in a run apiece in the loss.
Sophomore Michelle Wist (Cypress, Texas) homered and senior Katherine Shade (Glencoe, Ill.) drove in a run for the Engineers, who got hits from seven different players. Junior Ravenne Nasser (Methuen, Mass.) lasted just 1.1 innings after giving up two run on four hits before first-year Colleen Campbell (Snoqualmie, Wash.) came on to strike out six over 6.2 shutout innings to improve to 10-2 with the win.
The Beavers jumped on top in the first as Quine tripled to score senior Samantha Smith (Hillsborough, N.J.) and then raced home on an RBI groundout by Tango for a 2-0 advantage. Babson had a chance to extend its lead in the second after back-to-back singles to start the frame from sophomore Tori Roche (Andover, Mass.) and Casey, but was unable to drive them in.
Reilly (16-6) retired the first 10 hitters she faced and worked out of a second and third two-out jam in the fourth before Wist broke up her shutout bid with a homer to left in the fifth. The Engineers tied the game on Shade's RBI single in the sixth but the Beavers turned an inning double play to limit the damage.
The Green and White was unable to get anything going against Campbell, who allowed just a one-out double to Paul in the third and a one-hit single to Casey in the seventh. Reilly stranded a pair of runners to end the seventh but MIT got the job done in the last of the eighth as Lee led off with a single, moved to second on a ground out and then scored on Pickett's single back up the middle.
Monday's selection show will streamed live on NCAA.com.
• The Beavers are 41-21 all-time against MIT and 3-3 against the Engineers in the postseason.
• Babson and MIT combined for just 18 runs in five matchups this season with two games going extra innings and three having been decided by two runs or less.
• Prior to Sunday's loss, the Green and White had won three straight NEWMAC Tournament elimination games.