LEWISTON, Maine - Rachel Moore (pictured) hit a grand slam in the third inning to break open the game as the Tufts softball team won the NESCAC East Division pennant with a 14-2 victory in five innings at Bates College on Friday. The Jumbos (28-9, 9-1) clinched their fourth consecutive East flag and 18th overall.
Tufts' Josie Steinberg nearly hit for the cycle finishing 3 for 4 with a double, triple and home run. She doubled home two runs in a three-run first inning for Tufts which also featured an rbi double from Meggie Murphy. Bates got one in the bottom of the inning when Sarah Cooke reached second on an infield errror by the Jumbos, was sacrificed to third and scored on a wild pitch.
In the third, Steinberg led off with a solo home run. Murphy walked, Bela Jimenez singled through the left side and Bates made an error on a ground ball by Nicole Russo to load the bases. Lindsay Neumann had an infield single to score one run and then Kat Yuzefpolsky walked to force home another. Moore followed with her grand slam to cap Tufts' seven-run third inning and the Jumbos led 10-1.
That made it easy for Sophia DiCocco, the Jumbo starter who would earn her 13th win going five innings allowing four hits and two runs (one earned) with four K's.
Murphy (2 for 3, two runs, two rbis) singled and scored on an Emma Jacobson ground out in the top of the fourth, and Bates tallied their second run in the bottom of the inning as Janell Sato singled, Lindsey Kim doubled and Eliza McNulty brought home the run with a ground ball out.
Steinberg, who grounded out to the pitcher to end the Jumbo third for her only out, tripled home two runs in the top of the fifth. She then scored on Murphy's grounder to short making it 14-2. The Jumbos would end the game by catching Bates' Aleah Pagan trying to take second after a pop-up, with Russo throwing to Moore for the final out.
Yuzefpolsky and Michelle Adelman scored twice, Moore had a 3-2-1-4 batting line and Jimenez had two hits as the Jumbos enjoyed a strong offensive afternoon against two Bobcat pitchers. Danielle Polirer (2.1 IP, 6 H, 10 R (9ER)) took the loss. Sato had two hits for the Bobcats.
The teams will play a doubleheaer tomorrow starting at noon, the final games of Tufts' regular-season. By virtue of winning the NESCAC East, Tufts will host the conference championship tournament at Spicer Field May 6-8.