Medford, Mass. -- March 30, 2011 -- Led by senior first baseman Amanda Novak's three hits, the Springfield College softball team rallied twice in extra innings to capture a 5-4 victory over the Jumbos of Tufts University this afternoon at Spicer Field, spoiling Tufts' home opener.
Springfield's starting pitcher, first year Jennifer Joseph (Stamford, Conn.), dominated early, as she allowed just one Jumbo hit over the first three innings. Jumbo starter Izzie Santone (Madison, Conn.) was just as strong, but the Pride broke through in the second inning for a single run.
Novak, who hails from Cos Cob, Conn, began the second with a single up the middle. Santone recorded two consecutive groundouts which allowed Novak to advance to third base. With two outs, junior LF Kelsey Dunn (Waterbury, Conn.) legged out an infield single to drive Novak home and give Springfield the first run of the day.
There were zeros posted by both sides until the bottom of the sixth inning when Tufts finally got on the board. Junior CF Lizzy Iuppa (Paramus, N.J.) reached first base with a bunt with one out. She stole second, and then sophomore 2B Emily Beinecke (Concord, Mass.) followed with a single to left field. Iuppa had originally stopped at third base, but a throwing error allowed her to score and to tie the game, 1-1.
Each team went scoreless in the seventh inning to force extra frames. With one out in the top of the eighth, Springfield sophomore SS Kelly Blake (Watertown, Conn) doubled home a run. Later with two outs, Blake was brought home on sophomore RF Chelsea Bender's (Poughkeepsie, N.Y.) single.
The Jumbos answered back in the bottom half of the inning. First year LF Sara Hedtler (Wrentham, Mass.) beat out a throw to first base to lead off with an infield single. After a wild pitch advanced Hedtler to second, Iuppa grounded into a fielder's choice to plate a run to pull Tufts within one. Cantone followed with a clutch double to even the game, 3-3, and force the ninth inning.
Just like the eighth inning, Springfield pushed across a pair of runs. The first came home on a wild pitch and then another was brought home with a clutch two-out single by Blake.
Joseph returned to pitch the last of the ninth and allowed a two-out RBI single to Tufts sophomore Rebecca DiBiase (Wellesley, Mass). First year Chrissie Massrey (San Juan Capistrano, Calif.) came up next with a pinch-hit single, but both runners would be stranded after Joseph forced a ground out to end the contest.
Joseph earned the save for the Pride, her second of the season, going four full innings and allowing one unearned run on three hits with no walks and two strikeouts. Sophomore Stef Grande (Manchester, Conn.) was credited with the win, and is now 2-1.
DiBiase, who entered the game with one out in the eighth for Tufts, was dealt the loss. She threw 1 2/3 innings, giving up two runs (one earned) on five hits with no walks and one strikeout. Santone, who did not factor into the decision, went 7 1/3 innings and gave up three runs (two earned), while scattering seven hits, walking one and striking out three.
Iuppa had a strong day from the top of the line-up for the Jumbos, reaching base three times and driving in a run. Cantone finished 2-for-4, including an rbi double.
Springfield was led by Blake's 2 for 5 outing, with a double and two rbi, while Novak, Bender and first year CF Ally Rivelli (North Kingstown, R.I.) all contributed with multi-hit games.
The Jumbos fall below .500 on the season at 7-8 and will be back in action Thursday afternoon at home against Williams in a 3 pm contest. Springfield is now 12-7 and will return to the field on Friday afternoon with a doubleheader at Western Connecticut beginning at 3:30, weather permitting.