MEDFORD – The Tufts University softball team scored seven runs in the third inning to get going on an 11-0 five-inning victory over the University of Saint Joseph (Conn.) in the opening round of the NCAA Regional at Spicer Field on Friday afternoon.
|Sophomore Emma Della Volpe had two hits and scored twice for the Jumbos.|
The Jumbos (31-8) advance to Game 3 of the Regional on Saturday where they will take on Eastern Connecticut State University (30-11) in a winner's bracket match-up at noon. The Warriors defeated WPI 6-3 in Friday's other opening-round action at Tufts. The Jumbos-Eastern Connecticut winner will be in the driver's seat for the tournament heading into Sunday.
Saint Joseph (27-18) will play an elimination game against WPI on Saturday at 2:30 pm at Spicer.
After a scoreless first two innings today, the Jumbos sent 11 batters to the plate, had seven hits and benefitted from three Blue Jay errors in the third to take a 7-0 lead. An early rbi triple by junior CF Maggie Lebinski started the big inning. Sophomore 2B Emma Della Volpe followed with an rbi double and senior RF Kristen Caporelli soon added a two-run double. Senior DP Christian Cain brought home another run with a double for the fourth extra-base hit of the frame.
Meanwhile, Jumbo sophomore starter Kristina Haghdan was throwing a two-hit shutout. She allowed a walk to Blue Jays senior CF Morgan Skoly in the second, a sinble by junior Amaria Sharon in the third and a single to junior catcher McKenna Driscoll in the fourth. Skoly stole a base and was the only Blue Jay to reach second. Haghdan struck out six and would improve her record to 12-3.
Tufts scored four more in the fourth to lead 11-0. Junior Maria Ostapovich had a two-run pinch-hit single to highlight the inning.
Six of Tufts' 11 runs were unearned against Saint Joseph pitchers Sharon and freshman Natalie Amato, as the Blue Jays made four errors overall. Sharon took the loss giving up eight hits and seven runs (four earned) in three innings.
Caporelli finished 2 for 3 with two rbis and two runs for the Jumbos, while Della Volpe went 2 for 3 with two runs and an rbi. Cain and junior 3B Jamie Stevens both scored twice and junior LF Emily Serata was 2 for 2 with a run. Sophomore Reegan Coleman finished with two rbis.