MEDFORD - Senior pitcher Ellie Fodor threw a three-hit shutout as the MIT Softball team won its first-ever NCAA Championship game, 8-0 in six innings, over Elms College on Friday afternoon at Tufts University's Spicer Field.
The Engineers (28-8) advance in the winner's bracket to play on Saturday at 11 am against Tufts. Elms (20-13) falls into the loser's bracket where they will play Wellesley Saturday at 1:30.
MIT had hits from eight of their nine starters and finished with 12. Sophomore LF Natalie Shifflet and sophomore 3B Monica Shifflet were both 2 for 3 with two runs and an rbi. First-year CF Jasmin Joseph was 2 for 3 with two runs scored and Fodor was 2 for 4.
Fodor struck out seven of the first nine batters she faced and finished with 11. She did not walk a batter while improving to 17-4 overall.
Elms starter Bethany Grimes (Terryville, Conn.) matched zeroes with Fodor through two innings before MIT struck in the third. Singles by Natalie Shifflet and Joseph led to a two-run single by junior catcher Tori Jensen for a 2-0 Engineer advantage.
MIT then scored three after two were out in the fourth. Sophomore DP Ali Trueworthy singled and scored on a double to the right-center gap by Monica Shifflet. When an overthrow on pick-off attempt at second defelected off the center fielder's glove, Shifflet came around to score. The Engineers started over in the inning as Natalie Shifflet singled followed by a walk and a run-scoring base hit by first-year SS Mandy Lee making it 5-0.
Fodor was perfect through four, but lost the no-hitter on an infield single by Elms senior 1B Rachel Beery (Springfield, Mass.) in the fifth.
The Blazers would pose their first threat of the game in the sixth when senior CF Jennifer Bouvier (Mashpee, Mass.) and junior catcher Kierstan Skinner (South Windsor, Conn.) singled. They were at second and third with one out, but the Blazers could not capitalize as Fodor got a pop up and a ground out.
The Engineers put the game away with three runs in the sixth. Monica Shifflet led off with a triple to deep right followed by a sacrifice fly from Natalie Shifflet. A double by Joseph, a walk to Jensen and an infield single by Fodor to load the bases preceded a two-run single to right by senior 2B Karly McLaughlin which ended the game 8-0.
Grimes went the distance for Elms, allowing 12 hits and eight runs with two walks in 5.2 innings.