Softball Wins Both Games of Double-Header Against Trinity

HARTFORD - Tufts senior Christian Cain hit a grand slam in game one and first-year Alexis Aboulafia drove in the game-winning run in the seventh inning of game two as the Jumbo softball team won both games of a NESCAC East double-header at Trinity College on Saturday. The Jumbos won the first game 10-4 and were victorious in the second game by a 4-3 margin.
 
Alexis Aboulafia recorded four hits and drove in three runs in the two victories
Following the two wins, Tufts improves to 22-6 overall and 7-2 in NESCAC East action. With the setbacks, the Bantams fall to 11-9 overall and 3-3 in conference play.
 
After a scoreless first two innings of play in game one, Trinity broke out ahead in the bottom of the third with a run on an rbi single off the bat of Courtney Erickson. Bantam sophomores Cassidy Schiff and Samantha Witmer led off the frame with back-to-back singles before Erickson came up and singled to score Schiff. The Jumbos left four baserunners on base through the first four innings of the game.

Trinity first-year pitcher Jordan Stephan kept Tufts off the board through five innings, allowing the Bantams to open a three-run lead after adding two runs in the bottom of the fourth. Witmer drilled a two-out triple that scored Schiff and classmate Gillian Birk.
 
However, Tufts answered in a major way with seven runs in the top of the sixth on seven hits and a pair of Trinity fielding miscues to jump ahead 7-3. Tufts senior Kristen Caporelli got the Jumbos' scoring started with a sacrifice fly to left field that scored sophomore Mia Steinberg. Jumbo sophomore Sofia Molina then drove in Aboulafia with a single to left field. Cain then came in as a pinch-hitter and hit a grand slam to give the Jumbos a 6-3 edge. Aboulafia came up to bat for the second time in the inning and recorded another rbi with a single to center field. 

Tufts junior Maggie Lebinski accounted for three more Jumbo runs in the top of the seventh on a two-run double, and a run on a double-steal with sophomore Emma Della Volpe, to give Tufts all the support it needed for the victory. Erickson crushed a solo homer in the home half of the inning, but it wasn't enough to spark a comeback as Tufts came away with the 10-4 win in game one. Jumbo sophomore Kristina Haghdan pitched all seven innings of game one and struck out six batters while only allowing two earned runs.

Game two saw the roles reversed as Tufts took the first lead before a Trinity comeback. The Jumbos scored once in the first inning on a sacrifice fly to left off the bat of Aboulafia that scored Della Volpe who singled to lead off the game. Tufts went ahead 3-0 after runs in both the fifth and sixth inning on rbis from Della Volpe and Caporelli.
 
Trinity made things interesting with a three-spot in the bottom of the sixth. Sophomore Jenna Thomas, Erickson and sophomore Hannah Zukowski all singled in succession to load the bases with no outs. Towner followed with a single to score Thomas before first-year Alex Chambers plated Erickson on a fielder's choice. Birk came up clutch with a hard-hit single up the middle to score Zukowski. Tufts junior pitcher Gillian O'Connor got out of the inning by leaving two runners stranded to keep the damage to three runs as both teams headed to the seventh tied at 3-3.
 
Della Volpe singled and advanced to second on a Trinity error to start things off for the guests in the top of the inning before Steinberg sacrificed her over to third on a bunt for the first out. Aboulafia then came up to bat and drove Della Volpe home on a base hit to right field to give the Jumbos a 4-3 lead. After a fly ball for the second out of the inning, Towner caught Aboulafia trying to steal second to end the inning as Tufts took a 4-3 lead into the bottom of the seventh.
 
Witmer led off the home half of the seventh with a single to put the tying run on base with no outs. O'Connor managed to hold off the rally though by forcing the Bantams to ground into a fielder's choice before striking out back-to-back hitters to end the game and complete the double-header sweep for the Jumbos. O'Connor picked up her fourth win on the mound this season.
 
The Jumbos will return to action on Monday when they face WPI and Williams in Williamstown. Trinity returns to the diamond on Thursday when they travel to Eastern Connecticut State for a double-header starting at 4 pm.
 
Portions of Recap Courtesy of Trinity College