Van Meter's 5-Inning Perfect Game Earns Softball Double-header Split with Bowdoin

MEDFORD – Tufts sophomore pitcher Kristi Van Meter threw a five-inning perfect game in the nightcap after Bowdoin junior Allie Rutz finished with three rbis in the opener as the Jumbos and Polar Bears split a NESCAC East double-header on Saturday at Spicer Field. Bowdoin won the first game 6-2 and Tufts took the second 8-0 in five innings.

Alexis Aboulafia hit three doubles in the two games for Tufts.

The perfect game and no-hitter are the first for Van Meter in her Tufts career. She struck out eight and improved to 10-1 with her second win of the weekend. She also earned the victory Friday when Tufts topped Bowdoin 5-4. Van Meter now has five shutouts this spring.

Tufts (19-4, 5-1 NESCAC East) was playing as the visiting team. The location of this weekend's games was moved from Bowdoin due to poor field conditions, but the Polar Bears (13-9, 2-4) remained the home team on the scoreboard.

Junior CF Maggie Lebinski hit a two-run home run to put Tufts up 3-0 in the top of the second of game two. The Jumbos had scored on back-to-back doubles by sophomore SS Mia Steinberg and freshman DP Alexis Aboulafia in the first. Junior LF Emily Serata hit a one-out single in the second and scored on Lebinski's second home run of the week.

Tufts scored five times unearned in the top of the fifth to make the run-rule win possible. Lebinski hit a two-run single in the frame for four rbis in the game.

The Jumbos had 11 hits in five innings of game two. Steinberg finished 2 for 2 with two runs, Serata went 2 for 3 with two runs and an rbi and Lebinski was 2 for 3 with the four rbis and a run.

Bowdoin used three pitchers in the nightcap with senior Samantha Roy (2 IP, 5 H, 3 R) taking the loss.

Game one went in Bowdoin's favor as Rutz finished 2 for 3 with three rbis. In the first inning she hit a two-run single scoring senior 1B Caroline Rice and senior SS Sam Valdivia, who both walked. Rutz then added another rbi base hit in the third scoring Rice (single) for a 3-0 Polar Bear lead.

Tufts closed the gap to 3-2 after two were out in the fourth. A walk by senior DP Christian Cain was followed by a double from junior 3B Jamie Stevens sending Cain to third. Freshman catcher Alexis Aboulafia then drove a two-run double to left scoring both runners.

Those were the only runs they'd get off Bowdoin sophomore starter Ruby Siltanen. She threw a complete game giving up eight hits and two runs with four K's and a walk to earn her fifth victory.

Valdivia hit a two-run single in the fifth increasing Bowdoin's margin to 5-2. The Polar Bears capped the scoring in the fifth with a base hit by sophomore catcher Natasha Fingar leading to pinch-runner Caroline Sablone scoring on a sac fly by sophomore 2B Katelyn Cox.

Rice finished 2 for 3 with two runs in game one for Bowdoin.

Stevens had two hits for the Jumbos. Aboulafia added another double in the sixth. Sophomore starter Kristina Haghdan (3 IP, 5 H, 2 ER) took the loss. The Jumbos made four errors in the game.

Tufts is scheduled to play two at Babson on Monday. Bowdoin will be in action on Monday as well at home against Thomas (Maine).