By HANNAH FLESCH ’16
All of the offense that pitcher Lindsay Johnson ’14 and the rest of the Blue softball team needed was off the bat of Emilyrose Havrilla ’15. The Wellesley junior belted her 10th home run of the season in the bottom of the sixth to lift the Blue to their first NEWMAC championship since 2007. Johnson, who was named the tournament’s most outstanding player, pitched a scoreless game to capture her 18th victory of the season. With their victory, the team improved their record to 27-9 and earned an automatic bid into the NCAA tournament.
The Blue looked to take the early advantage in the first inning loading the bases with no outs off of hits by Ashtyn Coleman ’17 and Maria LaBouyer ’15. Smith, behind pitcher Gina Martucci ’16, got out of the inning unscathed from three straight groundballs. Johnson faced no trouble until the fifth inning when Edie Richardson ’15 doubled in the right centerfield gap. The teams traded doubles in the fifth inning from the Blue’s Ashtyn Coleman ’17 and Richardson, but both defenses shut down any offensive threats to keep the game scoreless.
Martucci matched Johnson pitch for pitch and the game remained scoreless until Havrilla broke the tie. Following Havrilla’s home run, Johnson struck out all three pioneers she faced in the top of the seventh inning, totaling nine strikeouts for the day and 14 for the tournament.
“Winning was unreal! Throughout the tournament, we faced many obstacles and people didn’t think we were going to win,” Coleman said. “I am so honored to be where I am right now.”
Smith, who was the sixth seed in this year’s NEWMAC tournament, had beaten the Wheaton Lyons earlier on Saturday with a 1-0 win, sending them into the championship game to face the number one ranked Blue.
The Blue await their opponent and first round schedule of the Division III Softball Championship on May 9. The regional tournament kicks off Friday.