Five-Run 1st Inning Propels Softball to 6-1 NCAA Tournament-Opening Win

Recap courtesy of MIT

CAMBRIDGE – The No. 18 ranked Tufts University softball team earned a 6-1 win over UMass-Boston in the opening round of the 2018 NCAA Division III Cambridge, Mass. Regional on Friday afternoon at MIT. With the win, Tufts moved to 30-8 this spring and will play No. 20 MIT in the winner's bracket game tomorrow at 11:00 a.m., while UMass-Boston fell to 17-24 and will play Framingham State University in an elimination game tomorrow at 1:30 p.m.

Tufts used three pitchers to secure the win highlighted by a five-inning shutout performance by Kristina Haghdan (12-3), who scattered two hits, struck out three and walked three in her NCAA Tournament debut. Raina Galbiati and Kristi Van Meter each tossed an inning for the Jumbos to close the game. UMass-Boston sophomore Jess Greenspan took the loss (12-15) on six innings, 11 hits, six runs (four earned), three walks and two strikeouts.

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Ten different Jumbos notched at-least one hit highlighted by a 2-for-4 day by Samantha Siciliano, who also scored two runs for Tufts. At the top of the UMass-Boston lineup, Ari Bilotta went 2-for-4 as well.

Before UMass-Boston could record an out, Tufts was able to score the game's first run. Siciliano began the game with a walk, Edie Huling notched an infield single and Raven Fournier singled to right before Kristen Caporelli earned a bases loaded walk for the 1-0 lead. An rbi groundout by Emma Della Volpe doubled the Jumbos' lead before Jamie Stevens and Sarah Finnigan both registered rbi singles to make the score 5-0.

The score remained 5-0 in favor of Tufts until the top of the sixth inning when an rbi single to left-center by Gigi Braga plated Gianna Salemi, which broke up the shutout for the nationally-ranked Jumbos. Roxanne Vento began the sixth with a walk, was pinch run for by Salem as Salem moved to second on a sacrifice bunt and to third on a wild pitch before Braga brought her home.

Tufts maintained their five-run advantage in the bottom of the sixth as the Jumbos answered with a run of their own. Tufts loaded the bases with one out in the inning on back-to-back singles and a walk before Siciliano scored on a throwing error by the pitcher when Casey Maggiore hit a comebacker to Greenspan.

Van Meter came into close the game for Tufts. The freshman, in her NCAA Tournament debut, allowed one hit, but registered a pair of strikeouts to seal the 6-1 opening round win for the Jumbos.