Tufts Ends Jeffs' Eight-Game Win Streak With Double Header Sweep|
AMHERST, Mass. - In a possible preview of the NESCAC championship, the visiting Tufts University softball team used stellar offense and timely pitching to sweep host Amherst College in a doubleheader in Amherst on Saturday, snapping the Jeffs' eight-game winning streak. The Jumbos, the 2000 NESCAC champions, took the opener in five innings by an 8-0 final, before holding off an Amherst rally for a 9-6 win in the nightcap.
|Third baseman Missy Mordy '03|
finished two-for-four in
the nightcap with four
RBIs and a run scored
The opener featured a battle between two of the NESCAC's top pitchers, in Amherst junior Lauren Peloquin (Berkley, MA) and Tufts junior Jodie Moreau (Clarksburg, MA). For three innings, the duel lived up to its billing, with the only run coming on a solo homer in the first from junior Tufts first baseman Tiffany Trahan (Chelmsford, MA). Trahan's homer, only the second earned run allowed by Peloquin in over 70 innings of work this season, stood up through three innings as Moreau retired the first nine Jeffs in order. In the visiting half of the fourth, however, the Jumbos broke the game open.
After a one-out single from junior Jen Mackey (Swampscott, MA), who proceeded to steal second, Peloquin struck out Moreau for the second out, before Nikki Blotner (San Diego, CA) walked, and Emily Ferrazza (Westminster, MA) reached on a fielder's choice to load the bases. Tufts first-year Deana Davidian (Pelham, NY) hit a grounder to short that should have been the third out of the inning, but Amherst senior Shari Sakamoto (Pasadena, CA) was unable to make a play on the ball, allowing Mackey to score and keeping the bases loaded. Trahan, who homered in the first, hit a liner that popped out of Peloquin's glove to score Tufts' third run, after which the floodgates opened. Jumbo sophomore Liz Drake (Chemlsford, MA) smacked a two-run single and Randee McArdle (East Nassau, NY) followed that up with a two-run triple, before scoring on a passed ball to make it 8-0 in favor of the Jumbos. All told, Tufts scored seven unearned runs in the fourth inning, breaking the game wide open.
The Jeffs finally got a baserunner in the bottom of the fourth, but a lead-off single from Carline Kelly (S. Dartmouth, MA) was the only hit that Moreau would allow, as the Jumbos picked up the win in five innings via the eight-run rule. Trahan, Drake and McArdle all drove in two runs each for the Jumbos, while Moreau improved to 6-3 with the one-hitter. Peloquin, who struck out six and allowed one earned run in five innings, picked up her first loss of the season, falling to 10-1 on the year.
In the nightcap, it appeared as if the Jumbos were going to cruise to the sweep, thanks to a six-run second inning. Sophomore Jenica Spogen (Chehalis, WA) got the barrage going with a long home run to lead off the second, and Drake capped the inning with the Jumbos' third homer of the doubleheader, a monstrous shot to left-center that plated Trahan, who had drove in Tufts' fourth run of the inning with a single.
The Jeffs finally got their bats going in the bottom of the second, using three straight singles from first-year Gina Scribner (Star, ID), sophomore hurler Emily Melia (Hingham, MA) and sophomore rightfielder Tamara Baer (Amherst, NY) to get on the scoreboard. In the third, back-to-back doubles from Kelly and sophomore third-baseman Missy Mordy (Issaquah, WA) plated the Jeffs' second run, before Tufts responded with a run of their own in the top of the fourth.
In the bottom of the fourth, Amherst rallied one more time, loading the bases with two outs for Mordy. The sophomore smacked a double just inside the third-base bag to clear the bases, before senior Meg Nelson (Middletown, CT) connected for a double of her own to score Mordy and bring the Jeffs to within one. Tufts starter Rachel Brecher (Newington, CT) got Scribner to fly out to deep center to end the threat, before Moreau came on in the fifth to slam the door on the Jeffs.
The Jumbos added solitary runs in the fifth and seventh innings, and Moreau allowed only baserunner in three hitless innings of relief to pick up the save, as the visitors held on for the 9-6 victory. In the nightcap, Drake finished three-for-three for the Jumbos with three RBIs, going five-for-five on the day with five RBIs and a pair of runs scored for the Jumbos. Trahan finished three-for-five in the nightcap with a pair of runs scored and an RBI, capping an afternoon in which she went five-for-eight with four runs scored and three ribbies.
For the Jeffs, Mordy was the primary offensive threat, finishing two-of-four in the nightcap with four RBIs and a run scored. Melia, who settled down after the second, took the loss, allowing nine runs (eight earned) on 15 hits, walking two and striking out two. Brecher picked up the win for the Jumbos, despite surrendering six earned runs in four innings of work, and Moreau picked up the save, as Tufts improves to 13-7-1 on the year. The sweep snaps Amherst's eight-game win streak, a streak that dates back to the Jeffs' spring break trip to Florida, and drops the Jeffs to 14-6 on the season.
Game One Box Score and Play-by-Play
Game Two Box Score and Play-by-Play