WILLIAMSTOWN - Pitchers Allyson Fournier and Lauren Giglio combined on a no-hitter and sophomore SS Christina Raso's grand slam led Tufts offensively as the Jumbo softball team won the NCAA Regional title with an 11-0, five-inning victory against Endicott Sunday at Williams College.
Tufts (40-3) will now play in a best two out of three NCAA Super Regional against Bridgewater State next weekend (May 16-17). The Bears defeated Wellesley College 3-1 today to win their Regional title. The site of the Super Regional has not been announced. Endicott's season ends with a 27-13-1 mark.
The Jumbos, the defending NCAA champions who are looking to advance to the national finals for the third straight year, stormed over the Gulls on Sunday. Fournier hit two batters with pitches and Giglio walked one, but no Endicott hitters touched second base. Fournier, who threw three solo no-hitters this season and has 10 in her career, improved to 21-0. Giglio, who tossed a no-no as a sophomore in 2012, came on for one inning today.
Tufts would take advantage of six Endicott errors in the game, including scoring three of their four first-inning runs unearned. Junior Michelle Cooprider, who hit .455 with eight rbis in the Regional, had an rbi single in the frame. All of the other runs scored on errors.
Raso's one-out grand slam was the centerpiece of a five-run third for Tufts. Senior Kayla Holland had preceded the slam with a run-scoring single. The Jumbos led 9-0 heading into the fourth.
Ground ball rbis by junior 3B Bri Keenan and Holland plated two more runs in the Tufts fourth.
Nell O'Connor was the losing pitcher for Endicott, giving up two hits and seven runs (three earned) with two strikeouts and three walks in 2.1 innings.
Different this year, the NCAA Division III Softball Championship is using a format that includes a super regional round of competition. The teams advancing from each Regional will compete in the super regional round May 16-17. The finals, hosted by Texas-Tyler, will be held May 22-27 at Suddenlink Field in Tyler, Texas.