Softball already locked up a perfect season in the NESCAC East and the No. 1 seed heading into the playoffs with a sweep of Bates last weekend, but this Saturday, they continued to dominate the NESCAC with a shutout sweep of a doubleheader against Hamilton at home to celebrate Senior Day.
Hamilton (12-24 overall, 3-9 NESCAC) sits in last place in the NESCAC West but still managed to keep game one scoreless through the first five innings. In the bottom of the sixth, however, Tufts finally broke through and pounded out six runs. Sophomore Samantha Siciliano doubled to left field to bring first-year Isabel Smokelin home, and then sophomore Raven Fournier was able to score off a grounder from junior Carrie Copacino. Senior co-captain Christina Raso, one of the team’s two seniors honored on the day, and first-year Christian Cain laced back-to-back RBI base hits. Raso and Cain both ended up scoring on an ugly play from Hamilton’s defense that saw a wild pitch followed up by a error, and the runs tallied in the sixth carried the team to the 6-0 victory. Senior co-captain Erica County, the team’s other senior honored Saturday, started in the circle and got the win in her complete-game, three-hit shutout.
The Jumbos blanked the Continentals again in game two and took an easy 11-0 win, with the game called after the top of the fifth. Tufts got started quickly, scoring 10 runs across the first three innings and then tacking on another in the fourth. Raso was hot at the plate, going two for three with a pair of runs and a pair of RBIs, while sophomore Raina Galbiati not only doubled in two runs and knocked in another with an RBI groundout but also picked up the win with four shutout innings in the circle. First-year Amolee Hawkins also pitched a 1-2-3 fifth in relief to seal the win.
Tufts plays Wheaton next in a doubleheader at home Tuesday afternoon. Saturday’s wins, though they had no affect on the team’s conference record, bring the Jumbos’ overall record to 25-8 and give them momentum as they head into the NESCAC tournament in Williamstown, Mass., where they will play the Amherst Purple & White in their first game Friday at 5:00 pm. Tufts will look to beat out Amherst, Trinity and Williams to get its fifth straight NESCAC title over the weekend before hopefully making a run back to the NCAA finals later this month.