MEDFORD, Mass. – The Tufts University softball team competed in its home-opening doubleheader on Saturday and did not let its loyal fans down, defeating visiting Colby, 19-1, in the first game and 9-1 in the second game, with both games being five-inning affairs at Spicer Field in Medford, Massachusetts.
|Summer Horowitz belted a solo home run during the second game.|
The Jumbos (11-5, 2-0 in NESCAC) were definitely ready for battle in the first game, as the squad scored all 19 runs in a four-inning span and belted 17 hits. Leading the way for the hosts were junior second baseman Samantha Siciliano (3-for-3, two singles, triple, four runs scored, three RBIs) and senior right fielder Maggie Hoffman (3-for-3, three singles, four RBIs, two runs scored).
Freshman pitcher Allison Tilton (2-4) was effective on the mound, working three innings, striking out five batters, relinquishing only one hit and striking out the side in the first. Sophomore pitcher Amolee Hawkins worked a pair of innings in relief for the Jumbos, giving up one run and three hits, while striking out two batters. Tilton and Hawkins combined to only allow four hits in five innings of work.
Hoffman showcased her versatility in the first inning, as she plated Siciliano on an RBI single to right field, and then scored on a passed ball with no one out in the inning, giving the hosts a 2-0 lead. Freshman third baseman Jamie Stevens drove a two-run double to right field, scoring junior catcher Raven Fournier and senior captain Cassie Ruscz, giving the Jumbos a 4-0 cushion.
Tilton retired the side in order during the top half of the second, and then received more run support from her offense, as the Jumbos attacked the scoreboard for nine runs in the bottom of the frame. Hoffman and Ruscz posted back-to-back RBI singles, scoring senior captain Carrie Copacino (2-for-2, three runs scored, two RBIs) and Siciliano, respectively. Hoffman crossed home plate with no outs in the frame, and then Ruscz touched home plate on a sacrifice fly by senior first baseman Summer Horowitz, as the Jumbos claimed an 8-0 lead.
Copacino tallied a two-out RBI, bunt single to third base, allowing Fournier to score, Siciliano followed up with a two-run single through the right side and Hoffman drove a two-run single to left field, giving the Jumbos a 13-0 advantage after two innings.
The Jumbos continued swinging the bats in the third, adding five runs in the frame, and then added one more in the fourth. The Mules got on the scoreboard in the top of the fifth, as senior second baseman Robin Spofford recorded an RBI ground out to shortstop, scoring senior shortstop Katie McLaughlin.
During the 9-1 second-game triumph, freshman pitcher Gillian O'Connor (4-1) recorded a complete-game win, allowing five hits and one earned run, while striking out a pair of batters. Junior pitcher Julia Saul (2-5) was tagged with the loss for the Mules, giving up 12 hits and seven runs in 4 1/3 innings of work.
Siciliano and Hawkins combined for six hits, while junior catcher Skylar Labbe went 2-for-3 in the batter's box for the visitors.
Labbe gave the Mules the lead for the first time on Saturday, clubbing a two-out solo shot in the top of the first to left field. Horowitz answered the call, clocking a leadoff homer to left field in the bottom of the second, evening the score at 1-1, as the home run is the third of the season for the Briarcliff Manor, New York, native.
O'Connor posted a 1-2-3 top of the fourth inning on the mound and the Jumbos' offense rewarded her with a four-run outburst in the bottom of the inning. Copacino tallied an RBI single to left field, and then Siciliano drove an RBI double down the right-field line. Hoffman and Horowitz each registered a two-out RBI single, with the hits scoring Copacino and Hoffman, giving the Jumbos a comfortable 5-1 advantage.
The Jumbos, who belted 15 hits in game, added another four runs to their total in the bottom half of the fifth. A two-out, two-run triple to right field by Fournier sealed the game, as Ruscz and Hoffman ran across home plate with the game-ending runs.
The Jumbos will be back in action on Sunday, with a noon showdown against Colby and a 2:30 p.m. matchup against Bates. Both games will be played at Spicer Field in Medford, Massachusetts.
Written by Trevor Wenners, Athletic Communications Intern