CAMBRIDGE – Freshman Kristi Van Meter threw a four-hitter as the Tufts University softball team forced a game seven at the NCAA Regional with a 2-1 win at MIT on Monday morning.
Senior Sarah Finnigan had an rbi and scored a run as the Jumbos (32-9) stayed alive with the win. They entered Monday needing to defeat the Engineers (35-8-1) twice in order to advance to the Super Regional. The second game is slated to begin at 1:30 p.m.
Van Meter stranded the tying run on third base in the bottom of the seventh. Madi Pickett and Katherine Shade hit back-to-back singles with two outs putting Pickett on third. However, Van Meter got a strike out to secure the Tufts victory.
Van Meter retired the first nine batters she faced, four by strikeout. Jumbo third baseman Jamie Stevens made a nice play on a surprise bunt by MIT's Sierra Rosenzweig for the final out in the third.
Finnigan reached by error to start the fourth. Sophomore 1B Casey Maggiore stroked a single to center setting up first and second with no outs, then Emma Della Volpe bunted both over. Emily Serata followed by dumping a single into right field scoring Finnigan for a 2-0 lead. MIT made a pitching change to Ravenne Nasser. On a bunt by Jumbo senior Sara Willner-Giwerc, MIT's Zoe Hinton fielded the ball, held Maggiore at third and then made the out at first. Nasser then got a K for the third out.
The Engineers closed the gap to 2-1 in the bottom of the fourth. Jasmin Joseph beat out a bunt for MIT's first hit. After a sacrifice bunt by Devon Goetz, Amanda Lee singled to right moving Joseph to third with one out. Lee stole second and then a ground out to first by Sarah Von Ahn scored Joseph making it 2-1. With the tying run on third, Pickett grounded out to short to end inning.
Tufts put two on after two were out in the top of the seventh, but could not add any insurance runs. MIT made it interesting in their half of the seventh, but Van Meter finished off her 15th win.
Siciliano had two hits for the Jumbos.
Colleen Campbell took the loss for MIT (3.1 IP, 6 H, 1 ER). Nasser gave up just one hit and no runs in her 3.2 innings.