Tufts Earns Spot in Softball Championship Game with 6-1 Decision Over Wesleyan
Courtesy Tufts Sports Information
MEDFORD, Mass. - The Tufts University Jumbos remained perfect against conference opponents this season as they advanced to the final of the 2009 NESCAC Softball Championship with a 6-1 victory over the Wesleyan University Cardinals on Saturday afternoon at Spicer Field.
The game remained scoreless through the first two and a half innings as starting pitchers Meaghan Dendy (Swansea, Mass.) for Wesleyan and Izzie Santone (Madison, Conn.) for Tufts were strong. The Jumbos took control in the third, plating three runs on four hits. Four of the first five batters of the inning reached base, kick-started by senior CF Laura Chapman's (Seattle, Wash.) bunt single. Both senior 3B Sam Kuhles (Somerville, N.J.) and senior 2B Danielle Lopez (Danvers, Mass.) followed with singles of their own. Junior 1B Christy Tinker (Woodbridge, Conn.) brought home two runs with a single and Lopez also scored on a bad throw during the play to make it 3-0 heading into the fourth.
Wesleyan got one back in the top of the fourth after a leadoff single by junior C Taylor Zavadsky (Trumbull, Conn.). After two groundouts which moved sophomore pinch-runner Lily Thalheimer (San Francisco, Calif.) to third base, freshman CF Chrissy Bello (Upper Brookville, N.Y.) scored her by beating out a grounder. The Jumbos threatened in the fourth, but stranded two runners. It remained 3-1 going into the bottom of the fifth, where Tufts doubled their output with four consecutive singles by Tinker, senior RF Maya Ripecky (Chicago, Ill.), senior C Cara Hovhanessian (Farmington, Conn.) and freshman Lena Cantone (Southington, Conn.). Hovhanessian and Cantone both picked up RBIs.
The scoring would end there as Santone allowed just two hits over the final two innings en route to improving her record to 17-1 on the year. In seven innings, she allowed just one run (unearned) on seven hits while not walking a batter. Chapman was 3 for 4 at the top of the Tufts order, leading their 13-hit attack. The Jumbos improved to 37-1 overall.
Dendy (11-8) suffered the loss after pitching 5.1 innings allowing all six runs on 13 hits. She struck out four while only walking one. Bello and first-year Sam Epstein (Hewlett, N.Y.) combined for four of Wesleyan's seven hits. The Cardinals dropped to 16-19.