WILLIAMSTOWN - The WPI softball team scored four early runs and held off Tufts to earn a 4-2 victory over the Jumbos in a neutral-site game played at Williams College on Monday afternoon.
The Engineers (19-12) scored two in the bottom of the first to take a lead. Infield singles by Sydney Russell and Alex Sheehan started the rally. Both runners would get to second and third with two outs, then Jocelyn Diaz delivered a two-run single to right field.
Tufts cut the lead in half when junior shortstop Josie Steinberg (pictured) hit the first home run of her career to lead off the top of the second.
WPI would get two more in the bottom of the third though for a 4-1 advantage. Russell doubled down the right field line leading off and was sacrificed to third. The Jumbos then couldn't get an out on a fielder's choice and starting pitcher Sky Johnson issued a walk to load the bases. A Diaz sac fly to right tand a single to right by Kelly Pritchard brought in the runs.
The Jumbos would have the bases loaded with one out against WPI starter Katie Martin in the fifth, but did not score. They were able to get one after two were out in the sixth, closing to within 4-2. Rachel Moore reached on an error, stole second and scored on Meggie Murphy's single to right. Tufts then had the first two hitters reach in the seventh, including a single by Keila McCabe. Martin was able to retire the next three batters on two strike outs and a pop-up to end the game though.
Martin went the distance allowing five hits and one earned run while striking out eight for her 12th win. Russell (2 for 4, 2 runs) and Diaz (3 rbis) were the offensive leaders for WPI.
Johnson threw six innings giving up seven hits and four runs with seven K's while absorbing the loss for the Jumbos. Emma Jacobson had a hit and a walk for Tufts.
Tufts (20-8) will play Williams College as the triple-header of games on Monday continues. WPI and the Ephs will play after that.