Johnson's Game Two Shutout Gives Softball Split with MIT

MEDFORD – Tufts sophomore Sky Johnson pitched a five-hit shutout in the second game after MIT senior Anya Chase shut down the Jumbo offense on six this and one run in the opener, as the teams split a softball double-header Tuesday afternoon at Spicer Field. Tufts won game two 1-0 after the Engineers had taken game one by a 6-1 score.

The second game was a pitcher's duel between Johnson and MIT freshman Becca O'Connor. However, in the bottom of the sixth, Jumbo freshman RF Lindsay Neumann reached by error, took second on a ground out and then scored on a double to the left-center gap by junior SS Josie Steinberg (pictured) for the game's only run. The rbi was the 20th for Steinberg.

Johnson closed out her ninth victory of the season and third shutout, striking out four and not walking a batter. Singles by MIT junior SS Haley Samuelson and junior CF Jordan Sell had led off the third, and then a sacrifice moved them to second and third with one out, but Johnson worked out of the jam to keep the game scoreless at the time.

O'Connor gave up five hits and the unearned run with three K's and no walks in six innings. Tufts senior 1B Nicole Russo had led off the fifth with an infield single and was sacrificed to second in a 0-0 game, but freshman 2B Mackenzie Bivin snared a line drive and doubled her off second.

Freshman 3B Dana Bell for MIT and sophomore 3B Rachel Moore for Tufts both had two hits in the second game.

Chase and Tufts sophomore Sophia DiCocco were engaged in a pitcher's battle for five innings of game one as well. Tufts scored a run after two were out in the fourth on a single by freshman catcher Kerriann Slayton followed by an rbi double to right-center from Moore.

However, MIT would score six times in the top of the sixth on five hits and a Tufts error. Singles by Bell, sophomore 1B Mackenzie Relihan, and freshman RF Kennedy Adkison loaded the bases, then freshman LF Mikayla Cable hit a two-run single up the middle. The Jumbos couldn't get an out on a fielder's choice to load the bases again and then made an error trying to get a force-out at home allowing two runs to score. Sell had a squeeze-bunt single making it 5-1 and then sophomore catcher Rylie Spiegel beat out a double-play ball as the sixth run scored.

Chase was excellent, improving to 5-3 while striking out seven with a walk in her outing. She blanked Tufts after Neumann's one-out double in the first, back-to-back singles by Neumann and junior CF Michelle Adelman with one out in the third and a two-out double by Steinberg in the fifth.

DiCocco took the loss giving up 11 hits and six runs (three earned) in seven innings. Adkison was 3 for 4, while Relihan and Sell both had two hits for MIT in the opener. Neumann finished with two hits for the Jumbos.