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Bogsted Scores Run And Pitches Shutout For 1-0 Softball Win

By Caitlin Murray

From leg-numbingly cold bleachers that made the spectators long for spring, 23 dedicated fans watched the MIT Women’s Softball team shut out the Regis College Pride 1-0 in their season opener this Friday. Leah A. Bogsted ’08, last year’s NEWMAC Rookie of the Year and Friday’s hero, posted nine strikeouts, and scored the game’s only run.

After going 6-21 last year and being knocked out of the NEWMAC tournament in the first round, the Engineers hope to improve their performance this season. With five freshmen, eight sophomores, and a single upperclassman, this is a young team struggling to come into its own.

Bogsted started shakily in the first, putting runners on the corners and walking another to load the bases with one out. But she quickly set the tone for the rest of the game, chalking up two decisive strike-outs to escape the inning unscathed.

The Engineers also missed some early opportunities. After drawing a walk as the lead-off batter, Adrianne H. Hee ’08 moved to third on a sacrifice bunt and a ground out, but was stranded by a short ground-out to the pitchers mound.

In the second inning, the Pride tried to get the upper hand on Bogsted. Veronica Coles nailed a drive down the left field line for a double. After a sacrifice bunt moved her to third, MIT left fielder Helen C. O’Keefe ’09 stepped into the limelight. Making a diving catch to rob Coleen Hill of an extra base and an RBI, O’Keefe made another running catch, ending the inning and maintaining the shutout.

In the bottom of the second, after drawing a walk to reach first, Bogsted moved to second on a bunt by Corinne E. Vannatta ’08. On a long, hard shot by Holly K. Jeffrey ’08, Bogsted took off, rounded third, and was waved home by the third base coach. But the Pride were faster on the play than expected, beating Bogsted home with the play, catching her in a potential rundown. But the Regis catcher, Blair Benander, just held the ball, allowing Bogsted to return, unchecked, to third. In the meantime, Jeffrey moved on to second. But the Engineers choked, stranding Jeffrey and Bogsted and going scoreless into the third.

The Engineers were finally able to seal the deal in the bottom of the fourth. Leading off, Bogsted sent a line drive up the middle for a single. Vannatta moved her to second with a sacrifice bunt and Jeffrey sent her to third on a ground out. The throw to third went long, landing in foul territory, giving Bogsted time to reach home and give the Engineers the lead. But the momentum and any chance to increase their lead died with an inning ending ground out.

Both sides went down in order in the fifth. In the sixth, Bogsted struck out two and forced another into a ground out. In the bottom of the sixth, after Cheryl A. Texin ’06 drew a walk, Bogsted grounded into a double play. With two outs, the Engineers tried to awaken the team and pad the lead. Vannatta dropped a single into left field and Jeffrey drew a walk, but they were stranded by an inning ending line-out.

Any last hopes for the Pride were dashed by Bogsted’s performance in the top of the seventh. After striking out two, she allowed a single up the middle. But that was the end for the Pride, as she forced the next batter into a ground out to third.

MIT’s defense was impeccable, with Bogsted on the mound and solid fielders behind her, but if they expect to improve their record this season, their offense is going to have to be able to knock in runs. Stranding seven does not bode well for their ability to produce in the future. Nevertheless, the Engineers have demonstrated their ability to win, which they hope to replicate on Thursday, March 23 when they host Brandeis University.