Softball Clinches NESCAC East Pennant During Double-header Sweep of Colby

MEDFORD – The Tufts University softball team clinched the NESCAC East Division pennant while sweeping a double-header against Colby College on Friday afternoon at Spicer Field. The Jumbos won both games in five innings by scores of 13-1 and 12-0.

Isabel Smokelin was one of four Jumbos recognized on Seniors Day today.

Tufts (25-6, 10-2 NESCAC East) will host the 2019 NESCAC Championship at Spicer May 3-5. The East Division flag is the second in a row and 16th overall for the Jumbos. Colby (4-23, 0-9) was officially eliminated from NESCAC Tournament contention.

The Jumbos had 28 hits in eight innings while earning the sweep today with 14 in both games. Junior Jamie Stevens was 6 for 7 with four rbis and three runs in the double-header. Kristen Caporelli, one of four players honored between games on Seniors Day, finished 4 for 5 with five rbis and four runs. Junior Maria Ostapovich was 4 for 6 with five rbis and two runs scored.

Meanwhile, Jumbos pitching allowed just six Colby hits in the two games. Junior Gillian O'Connor (5-1) gave up three hits and one run in her game-one victory, while sophomore Kristina Haghdan (3IP, 2 H) and junior Allison Tilton (2 IP, 1 H) combined on a shutout in game two.

Today's two wins gave the Jumbos a weekend series sweep, including an 11-7 win over the Mules on Thursday. Tufts had huge first innings in all three games, scoring seven runs on Thursday, five in today's first game and five again in game two on Friday.

Run-scoring singles by junior 1B Casey Maggiore, Stevens and sophomore catcher Sofia Molina along with a two-run single from Ostapovich led to Tufts' seven-run outburst in game one today. Sophomore SS Mia Steinberg, who was a double shy of the cycle in game one, tripled and scored to get the two-run second inning going. Stevens, who had four rbi singles in the first game, had one of them in a two-run third inning as Tufts took a 9-0 advantage.

Colby's lone run in the first game came in the fourth inning when freshman 1B Paige Bober doubled with two outs. She scored on a single by sophomore DH Paige Rohall. O'Connor had retired the first 11 Mules before Bober's double.

The Jumbos added to the margin with four runs in the bottom of the fourth including Steinberg's three-run home run. O'Connor finished off her win with a 1-2-3 fifth.

Steinberg (3 for 3, 3 rbis, 3 runs), Stevens (4 for 4, 4 rbis, run) and Caporelli (4 runs) led Tufts offensively in the first game.

Game two was more of the same. A two-run double by Ostapovich highlighted the five-run first inning. The Jumbos then sent 12 batters to the plate and scored seven times in the third inning to lead 12-0. Rbi singles that inning came from senior 1B Kelsey Dion, Ostapovich, Haghdan, Caporelli and senior catcher Christian Cain.

Colby freshman SS Ashley Ketchum singled and stole second and third in the third, but Hagdan recorded three straight outs to keep the visitors off the scoreboard. Mules senior 2B Paige Hartnett tripled with one out in the top of the fourth, but Tilton stranded her there by getting back-to-back outs.

Caporelli had three hits in the nightcap, Ostapovich finished 2 for 3 with three rbis and a run, Hagdan went 2 for 3 with two runs and an rbi and Dion had two rbis and two runs among the Jumbo offensive leaders.

Tufts next hosts Wheaton College in a non-league double-header on Tuesday. The Mules welcome Southern Maine to Waterville for a double-header on Monday.