MEDFORD - Tournament Most Outstanding Player Michelle Adelman tripled and scored on a sacrifice fly by Rachel Moore in the bottom of the eighth inning giving the Tufts University softball team a 3-2 walk-off victory over Rowan University to win the NCAA Division III Championship Regional at Spicer Field on Sunday.
Tufts (35-10) advances to the Super Regionals where the Jumbos will play WPI. The Engineers won the Glenside, Pennsylvania Regional with a 6-2 victory over Arcadia on Sunday. The date and location of the Super Regional have not been announced.
The Jumbos entered Sunday needing just one win over Rowan to take the Regional, but trailed 2-0 early. The Profs scored twice in the top of the first after McKenzie Melvin led off with a single and stole second. She took third on a ground ball and scored on a single to right by Morgan Zane. At hit-by-pitch sent Zane to second and a single from Korie Hague moved her to third. With the bases loaded, Zane scored the second run on an infield single to first by Cat Thomas. Tufts shortstop Josie Steinberg threw home for a force out that helped limit the Rowan rally.
Tufts tied the game in the third, sparked by a Rowan error. With runners on second and third and two outs, Steinberg tripled down the right field line scoring Kat Yuzefpolsky and Adelman tying the game at 2-2.
Neither team would threaten from the fourth through the sixth, but Tufts had singles by Nicole Russo and Kat Yuzefpolsky after two were out in the bottom of the seventh. Rowan pitcher Emily August got the final out with a ground ball.
Sky Johnson, who came on in relief of Tufts starter Sophia DiCocco in the fifth and was tremendous, retired the Profs 1-2-3 in the top of the eighth. Then Adelman, who had doubled, tripled and homered in Tufts' 6-1 win over Rowan on Saturday, hit another triple to lead off the bottom of the eighth. Rowan intentionally walked the next two batters hoping for force outs at home, but Moore hit a ball to center that scored the winning run.
Steinberg was 2 for 3 for Tufts, while Adelman scored twice. Johnson got the win in relief, going four innings allowing just one hit and no runs. DiCocco, Bela Jimenez and Steinberg made the Regional All-Tournament Team.
Melvin was 2 for 4 atop the Rowan order, while August (7.1 IP, 7 H, 1 ER) took the loss as Rowan's season ended at 35-10. Those two players and Thomas were the Profs on the All-Tournament Team.