PAXTON, Mass – After a tough weekend for the AMCATS in conference they faced off against the Wheelock College Wildcats at home on Wednesday afternoon. The games were played on the campus of Anna Maria College; a venue the 'Cats have not played at in almost five years. Given the excitement around the team finally playing on campus, the AMCATS did not disappoint sweeping the Wildcats convincingly 10-6 and 14-2 for their first two wins of the season.
Game one for the AMCATS was headlined by Annie Melanson's inside the park home run as a part of her two-for-four game in which she drove in two runs and scored twice. Senior captain Hanna Trudo was a perfect three-for-three in the game with a walk. She drove in two runs in the game and scored once. Sabrina Carreira had a good game at the plate as well, going three-for-four with a double. Carreira drove in a run and scored twice. Starting pitcher, Kathryn Rendock helped herself at the plate with two hits, an RBI and a run scored. On the mound, Rendock pitched 6.0 innings, allowing nine hits, six runs, five of them earned, and struck out two hitters, earning the win. Starting shortstop Victoria Falco snagged two hits in game one and scored twice. Falco closed out the game in the circle, earning the save as the Wildcats tying run was in the on-deck circle when she took over for Rendock. Left fielder Kayla Magierowski recorded a double in the game in her one-for-three performance at the plate. Her double paired with a sacrifice fly drove in two runs for the AMCATS.
Wheelock accumulated 11 hits in the game with multi-hit games from leadoff hitter Sam Leahon, starting pitcher Kat Ochoa, Taylor McDonald, Dom Delbene, and Meg Bramanti. Ochoa and Mcdonald had the only two extra base hits for the visitors in the game, both doubles. In the circle, Ochoa pitched all six innings allowing the 14 AMCAT hits, 10 runs, just three of them earned, and she struck out four hitters.
The AMCATS struck first in game one, scoring six runs in the inning. Also, their biggest lead of the season. It started with a Trudo infield single that scored Carreira and Jacquline Lapierre. Rendock then helped out her cause by singling through the left side of the infield which scored Falco and Trudo on an error by the left fielder. With Rendock on second, Melanson hit a ball to the fence in left field, and with Annie's speed and some lack luster play in the outfield, she rounded the bases for the two RBI, inside the park homerun.
Down 6-0, the Wildcats answered in the top of the second, scoring one run as Abbe Adams, trying to suicide squeeze, ended up safe at first base and Delbene scored to cut the deficit to five runs. In the bottom of the inning, the AMCATS would retake the six-run lead and add another on Magierowski's double which plated Falco and Carreira, taking an 8-2 lead in to the third.
Both teams would score again in the third, the Wildcats doubling their production with Shannon Creedon scoring on a McDonald fielder's choice ground out. In the bottom of the inning, Melanson scored her second run of game one as a ball off the bat of J. Lapierre was misplayed in left field allowing her to reach on an error. Carreira followed that up with a double to the center field fence allowing Lapierre to come around and score.
The 'Cats had an eight-run, 10-2 lead through the fourth with neither team plating a run in that fourth frame. In the fifth inning, Anna Maria had to hold on to the eight run lead in order to walk away with the mercy rule victory. However, the Wildcats had other plans, scoring two runs on an Ochoa double and a wild pitch, scoring Leahon and Rachel Simpson. Now up six runs, the AMCATS were unable to score in the bottom of the fifth innings.
Like the fourth, neither team scored in the sixth inning though Wheelock did threaten, getting a runner to third. The half inning then ended on a diving play by Hannah Trudo at first base to get the 'Cats out of the Inning. AMC also got a runner in to scoring position in the sixth, but after a sacrifice bunt that moved Trudo to second after she singled to left center, a fly out to center and a ground out to short gave the Wildcats life and a seventh inning.
In the top of the seventh, Wheelock gave the AMCATS more fits, scoring two runs in the inning on a wild pitch and a Delbene single. Down just four runs now, with the tying run in the on deck circle, Falco was brought in to the game to save the victory for Rendock and the 'Cats. With a line out to second base and a fly out to right field, she did just that. The AMCATS won their first game of the season, 10-6, over the Wheelock Wildcats on home soil with Rendock picking up the win, Falco the save.
The 'Cats continued their production in game two stringing together 13 hits and scoring 14 run. The Anna Maria offense in game two was headlined by senior Jacqueline Lapierre who was three-for-four in the game, highlighted by her grand slam home run in the third inning while also scoring three times. Sabrinna Carreira, Kathryn Rendock, and Yolani Doddy also had multi-hit games. Carreira went two-for-three with three RBI and a run scored. Coming off her game one pitching performance, Rendock helped out just as much in game two offensively with two hits and two RBI. Doddy's performance came after coming in to the game as a pinch hitter in the third inning. With the AMCATS batting around, the freshman from Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts recorded her two hits in the same inning, a single that drove in a run, and then another single towards the end of the inning. She also stole a base in the third. Though she was 0-for-two at the plate, starting pitcher Victoria Falco still managed to drive in a run and score one of her own. In the circle, Falco pitched 5.0 innings allowing just two hits and two runs, only one earned.
Wheelock was only able to get two hits off of Falco in game two. Leadoff hitter Sam Leahon had one of those hits, going one-for-three and scored both of the Wildcat runs. Right Fielder Abbe Adams recorded the other hit, a single, in a one-for-two performance. Starting pitcher Taylor McDonald only got through 2.1 innings, giving up 10 hits, 13 runs, all earned. She walked six AMCATS and struck out one before relieved by game one starter Kat Ochoa. Ochoa finished the game, pitching 1.2 innings, allowing three hits and one run.
Game two started off with Wheelock getting on the board first in the first inning on a fielder's choice ground out by Shannon Creedon scoring Leahon. Trailing 1-0 after a half inning, the 'Cats answered in the bottom of the first, scoring two runs as J. Lapierre and Amanda Lemire scored on a Carreira double down the right field line.
Falco and the AMC defense held the Wheelock offense at bay in the second and then were able to extend their lead in the bottom of the frame. With the bases loaded Carreira took a ball off of the elbow, scoring Gabriella Eldredge from third.
Now 3-2 in favor of the AMCATS, Wheelock closed the two-run gap in the top of the third scoring their second, and what would be their final run as Leahon scored on a wild pitch. Leahon had reached on a single and then advanced to third on a fielding error before she scored on the wild pitch. After she scored, Falco retired the Wildcats in order. The bottom of the third for the AMCATS was what essentially put the nail in the coffin for their second win of the day. It started with back-to-back walks of Hannah Trudo and Kayla Magierowski. After a wild pitch, Annie Melanson singled scoring Trudo. Eldredge was then pinch hit for by Doddy who immediately singled and drove in a run and stole second base. With runners on second and third, Lemire walked to load the bases. Then, on the first pitch to J. Lapierre, she hit is over the left field fence for a grand slam. It was he first home run of the season and her first career grand slam giving her team a 9-2 lead. The inning was over there as the hitter who began the inning, Trudo, singled, plating Carreira. That was followed by a Magierowski single to score Falco and the 'Cats rounded out the scoring in the third on a Rendock two RBI double scoring Trudo and Magierowski, the two who scored the first runs of the inning.
Besides a two-out single in the top of the fourth, Falco set the Wildcats down unscathed. The hosts took their 13-2 lead in to the bottom of the fourth where they scored one final run on a Falco sacrifice fly to right, scoring J. Lapierre who had singled and stole second base to begin the inning.
With a 14-2 advantage, all the AMCATS had to do in the fifth was not allow Wheelock to score five runs. They did just that as Falco made quick work of the Wildcats, sitting them down in order to seal the run rule victory, 14-2 over the visiting Wildcats completing the non-conference sweep.
The AMCATS will be back on the field in Paxton on Friday afternoon taking on Worcester rival Becker College in non-conference play at 3 and 5pm