KISSIMMEE, Fla. – Senior pitcher Gillian O'Connor went the distance and struck out a career-high nine batters as the Tufts University softball team improved to 8-0 with a 7-1 victory over St. Joseph's College–Long Island on Tuesday in Florida.
|Gillian O'Connor struck out a career-high nine this afternoon.|
Sophomore 2B Emma Della Volpe hit two triples to lead the Jumbo offense, while senior LF Kristen Caporelli hit her first home run since sophomore season. The Golden Eagles (4-6) were led by two hits from junior 2B Elise Grau.
St. Joseph's scored the first run off the Jumbos in 18 innings when junior Franzelyn Russo bunted for a base hit, took third on an error and scored on a single by sophomore catcher Lindsay Ness.
The lead was erased quickly as the Jumbos struck for nine total bases with their first three batters of the game. Della Volpe tripled, sophomore SS Mia Steinberg doubled her home and Caporelli homered making it 3-1 Tufts.
After giving up the run in the first, O'Connor settled into a groove. She retired 10 in a row from the first until the fourth when Grau hit a two-out single. O'Connor then retired the next seven after that and finished allowing just four hits and no walks with the unearned run. Her previous high in strikeouts was five.
Tufts scored four runs unearned in the third and fourth innings to lead 7-1. Della Volpe hit her second triple of the game to bring in a run in the third. Junior LF Emily Serata also had an rbi single in the frame. Tufts' fourth was bolstered by senior 1B Casey Maggiore's double.
Tufts' top three hitters finished 5 for 10 with four rbis and four runs scored. Della Volpe was 2 for 3 with a run and an rbi, Steinberg finished 2 for 4 with a run and an rbi and Caporelli had a 1 for 3 day with two runs and two rbis.
Golden Eagles' sophomore starter Katelynn Valente was the losing pitcher, giving up seven hits and seven runs (three earned) in three innings. Freshman Catherine Zucker was excellent in relief (3 IP, 0 H, 0 R).
Tufts is off tomorrow and returns on Thursday with games against Marian and Ramapo in Florida. St. Joseph's concluded their stay in Florida with the game and play two at Old Westbury on Sunday.