DiCocco Sharp in Softball's 4-1 Win in NCAA Opener Versus Muhlenberg

MEDFORD – Sophomore pitcher Sophia DiCocco threw a four-hitter as the Tufts University softball team opened NCAA Tournament play with a 4-1 win over Muhlenberg College on Friday afternoon at Spicer Field.

The Jumbos (33-10) advance in the winner's bracket and will play the winner of Friday's other first-round game between Rowan and Cabrini on Saturday at noon.

Through the first four innings today, DiCocco had only allowed a ball that dribbled out in front of the plate by Kaya Mahy that she beat out for a single. The Mules would break up the shutout with an unearned run in the fifth, but DiCocco would improve to 16-5 with the victory and lower her earned run average to 0.91.

Tufts scored all of its runs in the bottom of the second. Rachel Moore walked to lead off and then Muhlenberg couldn't get the out at second on a fielder's choice by Lindsay Neumann. Emma Jacobson bunted for a single and then an error with a late throw trying to get an out at third allowed Moore to score. An rbi single by Nicole Russo and a two-run single from Kat Yuzefpolsky followed.

The Jumbos had an opportunity to add to their lead in the third due to a Mules error and a single by Neumann. With runners on second and third though, Muhlenberg reliever Justine Bergara got the last out.

Bergara was strong in relief, blanking the Jumbos over five innings while allowing four hits. She also scored the Mules' run in the fifth with a two-out walk and then coming around when Cora Bridgers' single to right was misplayed.

The Mules would put two on in the sixth with singles by Sarah Karmazyn and Katilyn Buurman, but DiCocco fielded a ball back at her for the final out of the frame.

Jacobson and Russo were both 2 for 3 for Tufts. Meggie Murphy walked twice.

The Mules (22-21) fall into the loser's bracket and will play the Rowan-Cabrini loser on Saturday at 2:30 pm.