Home Runs Power Softball Comeback Against Benedictine for 8-6 Victory

CLERMONT, Fla. – Trailing 6-0 after five innings and 6-2 entering the seventh, the Tufts University softball team hit four home runs in the final two innings to take an 8-6 win over Benedictine University on Tuesday in Florida. The victory ends a three-game slide by the Jumbos (3-4).

Freshman Allison Tilton earned her first collegaite save

Tufts had started its comeback in the sixth when Cassie Ruscz led off with a single and Raven Fournier hit a two-run homer to left bringing Tufts within 6-2. In the Benedictine sixth, Kassee Johnson led off with a double to right-center, but was thrown out trying to steal third by Fournier.

Carrie Copacino led off the top of the seventh with an infield single for Tufts. After an out, red-hot senior Maggie Hoffman hit a two-run home run to left making it 6-4. Ruscz followed with a single and Fournier walked, leading to a three-run home run by Summer Horowitz that gave Tufts a 7-6 lead. With two outs, Jamie Stevens homered to left-center making it 8-6.

In the bottom of the seventh, Courtney Grasz led off for the Eagles with a double down the right field line. Tufts went to the bullpen for freshman Allison Tilton. However, a Jumbo error put runners on first and second with no outs. Tilton closed down the win with a pop up and two swinging strikeouts for her first collegiate save.

The Eagles had jumped to a 2-0 lead in the first. After Kaitlyn Velazquez and Shannon Fritsche opened the frame with singles, both stole bases to set up a second-and-third situation. Both runs scored on a Tufts error.

The game remained 2-0 through four innings. Benedictine then scored four times in the fifth, highlighted by a two-run double to left-center by Holly Haberkorn. An rbi single from Angie Malsack and another Tufts miscue led to two more runs and a 6-0 Eagles lead.

Haberkorn had allowed no runs and four hits to the Jumbos through five innings. Tufts scored its two runs in the sixth inning on three hits, then had five hits including the three homers while scoring six times in the seventh.

Tufts has now hit 10 home runs in its seven spring trip games. Horowitz finished 2 for 4 with three rbis and a run, while Ruscz went 3 for 4 with a run. Stevens and Copacino both had two hits. Senior Raina Galbiati had the win for Tufts, allowing nine hits and six runs (three earned) with two strikeouts in six innings.

Haberkorn was 2 for 4 with two rbis and a run for Benedictine (4-3), while Fritsche finished 2 for 4 with two runs. Grascz also had two hits.