Tufts sweeps Trinity to stay undefeated in NESCAC East

Summer Horowitz (LA’ '17) hits the ball in Tufts' 7-5 win against Bowdoin on April 1. Sofie Hecht / The Tufts Daily

Over the weekend, Tufts swept a three-game series at home against NESCAC East foe Trinity to stay undefeated within division play and atop its division, with just one more division series against Bates remaining before the conference playoffs next month. The team’s winning-streak of nine games, the Jumbos’ longest of the season, came to an end yesterday afternoon though in a 6-3 loss to the No. 22 MIT Engineers. Tufts bounced back in the second game of the doubleheader to beat MIT 11-2. 

On Friday, what would become an extra-innings contest began with the Jumbos scoring just a run each in the second and third to jump ahead. In the bottom of the second, sophomore utility player Raina Galbiati was walked and a double to right center from first-year shortstop Christian Cain drove in Galbiati. In the bottom of the third, Galbiati singled with the the bases loaded to drive in sophomore catcher Michelle Chisdak.

Trinity came back in the fourth with three runs to take the lead, which would last until the bottom of the sixth when the hosts tied it back up. Down 3-2, Galbiati scored for the Jumbos after hitting the team’s second double of the game. She advanced to third on a Trinity error and scored on an infield hit by sophomore Raven Fournier. With the game going to extras, senior co-captain Christina Raso walked in the eighth and advanced third after another walk to Galbiati and a base hit by junior Summer Horowitz. With the bases loaded, Fournier hit a shallow fly ball to left, and Raso was able to tag up and score to give the Jumbos the 4-3 walk-off win.

“I think over the course of the season the team has really learned more how to play as a unit,” Cain told the Daily in an email. “We have learned how to play together and united, to rely on one another and to trust another. We spend a lot of time together, in and out of practice. Our relationships have gotten stronger, which has really helped our on-field chemistry.”

Tufts and Trinity wrapped up the series with a doubleheader on Saturday. In the morning game, the Trinity Bantams began the first inning explosively with two runs. The Jumbos struck back in the second, as Fournier scored after a base-hit by sophomore Sarah Finnigan, who advanced to second on an error by the Bantams. Sophomore Samantha Siciliano singled, scoring Finnigan and evening the score. The top of the third saw a strong showing from Trinity, which got two runs back, but Tufts struck back in the bottom half of the inning with a two-run homer by Fournier to right-center. Later in the inning, junior Carrie Copacino doubled in Finnigan and then scored herself on a single from Siciliano, giving the Jumbos a 6-4 lead that they would only grow throughout the contest.

Tufts scored twice in the fifth inning after an uneventful fourth. Fournier rounded third and scored on a double by Summer Horowitz, who in turn was able to score a run after a hit from SicilianoSiciliano drove in three runs in the contest, as did sophomore Sara Willner-Giwerc. Willner-Giwerc’s RBIs all came from a double in the sixth. The Bantams’ five errors played a large role in the Jumbos’ dominating win, and with 15 hits, the hosts capitalized on Bantams’ sloppy defense to push the final score to 13-4 before the game was called in the sixth.

The Saturday afternoon game between the teams started out much less eventfully, as both were unable to score any runs in the opening innings. A double by Willner-Giwerc that reached deep left scored Copacino in the bottom of the third to break the stalemate, and the Jumbos maintained the lead for the rest of the game. During the bottom of the fifth, the Jumbos widened their lead with three runs, highlighted by Fournier’s triple to right field, scoring Galbiati and Siciliano. Tufts added two more in the bottom of the sixth as Wilner-Giwerc drove in junior Marly Becker. Copacino then scored on a bases-loaded walk to Fournier. Although Trinity was able to score a single run at the top of the seventh inning to prevent the shutout for Galbiati, who went the distance for Tufts on the mound, the win was still decisive. 

“We had some great performances on Saturday,” coach Cheryl Milligan told the Daily in an email. “Finnigan and Wilner-Giwerc had outstanding contributions, as did [Galbiati] on the mound.”

Having swept the Bantams, the Jumbos not only continued their recent successful stretch since spring break but also brought their winning-streak against NESCAC East opponents to 57 games, dating back to 2011. Milligan was proud of the team for securing the first seed in the NESCAC East for another year.

The Jumbos’ momentum was interrupted last night, however, when they fell at home to the MIT Engineers in the first game of a doubleheader rescheduled from last week. The Engineers struck early with a run in the first and then roughed up Jumbo senior co-captain starter Erica County for five runs in the second to take a lead that they would not relinquish. County settled down to shut out MIT for the rest of the game, but her offense could not manage to overcome the deficit.

In the second game, Galbiati continued her strong season on the mound by blanking the Engineers until the fifth. Meanwhile, the Jumbo offense, helped out by several defensive errors, lit up Engineer starter Ravenne Nasser for seven runs in the first to take a commanding lead. Cain, who has been hot at the plate lately, highlighted Tufts’ 15-hit performance by going three for three with a home run and three RBIs.

Tufts, battling through a busy stretch of games this week, looks to start a new winning-streak in their doubleheader at Endicott tomorrow.


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