Hartford, Conn. – The Trinity College softball team handed the Tufts University Jumbos its first loss in 65 divisional games as the Bantams came away with a 6-3 victory on Friday afternoon in New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) East action in Hartford. Prior to the day, Tufts had not lost a NESCAC East game since the 2011 season when the Bantams came away with a 12-2 win in the third game of the regular-season series. Today's win improves Trinity to 15-9 overall and 5-2 in conference play while the Jumbos fall to 14-7 on the year and 4-1 in league action.
Trinity starting pitcher Rachael Smith (Winchester, Mass.) went three innings, scattering five hits while striking out one before giving way to first-year southpaw Lindsay Golia (North Branford, Conn.) in the fourth who went the rest of the way, holding the Jumbo offense to zero runs en route to her eighth win of the year. Trinity's offense was paced by junior 3B Katie Haghdan (Pelham, N.H.) who went 3-for-3 with a game-high four RBIs. Junior CF Meaghan Race (Grand Rapids, Mich.) finished 2-for-4 at the dish with a pair of runs scored, a double and an RBI while senior captain DP Victoria Baez (Tuckahoe, N.Y.) and rookie 1B Natalie Bruno (Stratham, N.H.) also turned in multiple-hit efforts. Tufts senior captain SS Cassie Ruscz (Wolcott, Conn.) led the Jumbos with two hits, a run and a pair of RBIs while three other Jumbo players finished with two-hits.
Smith tossed a zero on the board in the top of the first inning before Trinity pushed one across in the home half. Junior C Nicole Towner (Erie, Colo.) drew a two-out walk before crossing the plate on a run-scoring single that was smoked up the middle by Bruno. Both Smith and Tufts starter Gillian O'Connor (Montgomery, N.J.) traded scoreless frames in the second before the two sides combined for six runs in the third.
Tufts tied the game with one out in the top of the third on a single by 2B Samantha Siciliano (Chatsworth, Calif.) that brought home pinch-runner Maggie Lebinski (Monroe, Conn.). After a ground ball out for the second out of the inning, Ruscz came up to the plate and launched a two-run homer deep over the right field fence to open up a 3-1 Jumbo lead.
The Bantams proved unfazed, scoring three runs of their own in the bottom half of the inning to reclaim a one-run lead. Race got things going with a run-scoring double before a single by Baez put runners on the corner with just one out. Haghdan followed up with an RBI single which preceded a Tufts error, scoring both Baez and Race to give Trinity a 4-3 lead.
After a scoreless fourth, Trinity tacked on a pair of insurance runs in the fifth. Back-to-back singles by Race and Baez brought Haghdan to the plate who came up clutch once again as she smacked a two-run single to center, bringing home Race and first-year Meghan Golia (North Branford, Conn.) who came on as a pinch-runner. Both teams traded zeros in the sixth before Lindsay Golia retired the side seventh to come away with the win.
Both teams return to the diamond tomorrow for the final two games of the series, a doubleheader beginning at noon.