|Lena Cantone's three-run double gave Tufts the lead against Eastern Connecticut
CLERMONT, FL – The Tufts softball team defeated third-ranked Eastern Connecticut, 4-2, on Monday to highlight two wins that improved Coach Cheryl Milligan's team to 5-1 early in 2012. The Jumbos also had a 7-2 victory against St. Catherine University.
Senior 1B Lena Cantone (Southington, CT) hit a three-run double in the third inning to put the Jumbos up 3-1 against Eastern. Senior SS Mira Lieman-Sifry (Hastings-on-Hudson, NY) had started the inning with a one-out single to left, followed by a bunt single from sophomore LF Sara Hedtler (Wrentham, MA). Senior CF Lizzy Iuppa (Paramus, NJ) loaded the bases with a single, leading to Cantone's bases-clearing two-bagger.
Junior pitcher Rebecca DiBiase (Wellesley, MA) started for the Jumbos. ECSU's Priscilla Alicea tripled to open the game and scored on a ground out, but DiBiase got through the second and third innings cleanly and Tufts led 3-1. An unearned run on a double by Mattie Brett pulled the Warriors within 3-2 in the top of the fourth. However, Tufts answered in the bottom of the inning when first-year Kris Parr (Austin, TX) led off with a single and pinch-runner Bri Keenan (Portsmouth, NH) eventually scored on a bunt single by Iuppa.
Eastern had runners on second and third with one out in the sixth before DiBiase got a strikeout for the second out. She was relieved by first-year Allyson Fournier (South Windsor, CT), who got the third out on strikes and then pitched a 1-2-3 seventh for a save.
Iuppa continued her strong start with a 2 for 3 game, a run and an rbi. Hedtler was 2 for 3 with a run as Tufts finished with eight hits. Arielle Cooper had two of ECSU's four hits. Molly Rathburn took the loss, going all six innings allowing eight hits and three earned runs.
Earlier in the day, the Jumbos scored twice in the sixth and three times in the seventh – four of the runs unearned – to defeat St. Catherine 7-2. Junior 2B Emily Beinecke (Concord, MA) walked and scored in the sixth and then singled home a run and later scored in the seventh. Sophomore catcher Chrissie Massrey (San Juan Capistrano, CA) singled home two runs in the sixth and Parr hit a two-run double in the seventh.
The Jumbos had taken a 2-0 lead in the second with an rbi double from sophomore DH Kayla Holland (Attleborough, MA) and a sacrifice fly by Massrey. St. Cate's tied the score in the fifth with a pair of unearned runs off Jumbo sophomore starter Lauren Giglio (Niskayuna, NY). Alyssa Luedtke doubled and scored and Kaitlyn Frank had an rbi single in the inning.
Tufts retook the lead in the sixth when Massrey hit a two-run single. DiBiase earned her second victory of the day after relieving Giglio with two outs in the fifth. She allowed three base-runners in the sixth and two more in the seventh, but did not allow any runs and the Tufts bats had opened up a lead.
Massrey finished 2 for 2 with the three rbi for Tufts. Holland was 2 for 4 with two runs and an rbi, while Parr went 2 for 4 with two rbi and a run. Tufts had nine hits. St. Cate's out-hit Tufts with 11, including a 3 for 3 effort from Frank and two hits apiece by Luedtke and Shae Elliott.
The Jumbos take on Frostburg State and Elmhurst in Florida on Tuesday.