Babson Park, Mass. - May 10, 2013 - The Springfield College softball team rallied from an early 2-0 deficit to tie the game, but surrendered six runs in the bottom of the sixth as it dropped an 8-2 decision to Tufts University on Friday afternoon.
Junior Jo Clair went 3-for-5 with two home runs and a double, driving in a season-high five runs to led the top-seeded Jumbos to their 13th straight victory as they move to 40-3 on the season. The loss drops Springfield to 27-19 on the year.
Junior Sara Hedtler had two hits and walked twice, sophomore Bri Keenan singled and drove in a pair of runs and classmate Michelle Cooprider had a single and scored twice. Every starter recorded at least one knock for the Jumbos, who finished the day with 13 hits.
Senior Chelsea Bender and first-year Jenna Webb led the Pride with a hit and an RBI apiece. Junior Christina Leader and Ally Rivelli both doubled.
The highlight of the afternoon was a record-breaking performance by Webb, who set a new program record for RBI in a single season. Webb's run-scoring single in the fourth gave her 47 for the season, besting the previous mark of 46 held by former standout Ali Gerrish, which was set in 2002.
After scoring 12 runs to open the regional on Thursday, Tufts got off to a fast start against Springfield as Hedtler drew a leadoff walk, Cooprider reached on a fielder’s choice as Hedtler was forced out at second and Clair followed with a deep blast over the left field fence for a quick 2-0 advantage.
After getting just one hit over the first three innings, Springfield rallied in the fourth, stringing together four hits and plating a pair of runs to pull even at 2-2. Leader got things started with a double to left field and after first-year Melissa Nelson moved Leader to third, Webb singled to center to score Leader, cutting the deficit in half. Senior Breann Joyce and Bender came through with back-to-back singles, the second bringing home Webb with the tying run.
Sophomore Caisie Cadorette, who relieved starter Ashley Marino, got two quick outs in the fourth before first-years Abby Curran and Christina Raso singled and Hedtler walked to load the bases. Cadorette stopped the threat, though, inducing an inning-ending groundball to third to get out of the inning.
Clair led off with a home run in the fifth, her 12th of the season, putting Tufts back in front 3-2 and after the Jumbos loaded the bases with one out in the sixth, Clair blasted a double to left field, scoring Hedtler and senior Aly Moskowitz to take a three-run lead. Two batters later, Keenan hit a two-run single to center and sophomore Gracie Marshall came through with the sixth hit of the inning to plate Keenan for the final margin.
Sophomore Allyson Fournier, who led the nation with a 0.27 earned run average entering the tournament got the win, tossing her 11th shutout of the season to move to 19-1. Fournier gave up two runs on six hits with 11 strikeouts and retired the final 11 Pride batters.
Cadorette took the loss for Springfield, falling to 2-4 on the year, after allowing a run on four hits in two innings of work. Marino gave up two runs on three hits over two innings and junior Jennifer Joseph allowed five runs on six hits in her two innings of work.
Both teams will be back in action on Saturday as Springfield will play Husson in an elimination game at 12:00 noon while Tufts will await the winner of Babson and Rowan at 4:00pm.