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Tufts sweeps softball team in doubleheader







MEDFORD, Mass. -- Jo Clair connected on three home runs on the day as she led Tufts to a convincing doubleheader sweep of the Bates softball team with final scores of 9-3 and 8-0 in NESCAC East play on Sunday afternoon at Spicer Field.

The Jumbos took the lead in the first inning of game one and never trailed the entire afternoon. In that first frame, the first two batters reached as Lizzy Iuppa led off with an infield single and Sara Hedtler bunted for a single. Each stole a base and then Lena Cantone plated the first run with an RBI ground out.

Clair started her day with a double to score the next run, and then Emily Beinecke capped the inning with a run-scoring single as Tufts bolted ahead, 3-0.

Bates scored single runs in each of the next two innings off of Tufts senior starting pitcher Izzie Santone. Junior C Leah Maciejewski (Tewksbury, Mass.) drove in the run in the second inning with a one-out single. Junior RF Karen Ullmann (Ramsey, N.J.) crossed the plate in the third inning after a fielder's choice grounder by junior 1B Monica Berube (Plaistow, N.H.).

Tufts blew the game open in the fifth inning, putting five runs on the board. Hedtler doubled with one out and Cantone followed with a single. Hedtler would score on the play as a result of two Bates throwing errors. Then Clair sent her first longball of the day down the left-field line to make it 7-2 Jumbos. Later in the inning with two down, Mira Lieman-Sifry scored two with a base hit to push the advantage to seven runs.

Sophomore 3B Mary Lewis (Gardiner, Maine) added an RBI single in the sixth inning, but that was all the Bobcats would get the rest of the afternoon. Santone pitched the complete seven innings for Tufts to go to 5-2 on the season. She gave up three runs on 11 hits, while walking just one and striking out three.

Junior Kristen Finn (Winthrop, Mass.) took the loss in game one for Bates, falling to 2-3, as she allowed all nine runs on 14 hits over six innings. She added three strikeouts and did not walk a batter.

In game two, Clair led off the second inning with her second homer to put Tufts on top. Only three Bobcats would reach base through the first three innings off of Tufts starting pitcher Rebecca DiBiase. The score remained 1-0 until the fourth inning.

The Jumbos sent nine batters to the plate in the fourth, with the first three reaching. The third batter, Clair, launched her third home run, a three-run blast, to left field to make it 4-0 Tufts. Two more scored in the inning by way of a double steal and a Bates fielding error.

Tufts walked off with the victory in the fifth inning, scoring an additional two runs. Cantone hit an infield single and Clair was intentionally walked. Back-to-back singles by Lauren Giglio and Lieman-Sifry ended the game in favor of the Jumbos, 8-0.

DiBiase was strong on the rubber for Tufts with a five-inning, four-hit shutout. She walked two batters and struck out three en route to her second straight victory to move.

Sophomore Caroline Gattuso (North Reading, Mass.) was on the losing end for Bates, dropping to 2-2, after she allowed all eight runs (five earned) on 10 hits in 4 1/3 innings pitched. She recorded six strikeouts with just one walk.

Clair now has nine homers for the year and 22 runs driven in to lead the team.

Cantone finished the two games 5 for 7 with five singles and three runs scored. Lieman-Sifry added a two-run single in each game and four hits total. The Jumbos combined to out-hit Bates, 25-14.

Maciejewski led the Bobcats with four hits in the doubleheader, including two doubles in game one. Sophomore AnnaMarie Martino (Plymouth, Minn.) was 2 for 5 and reached base three times for Bates, while Berube was on base three times with a single, double and a hit by pitch. Junior Lauren Dobish (Chambersburg, Pa.) added a pair of hits for the Bobcats.

With the two wins the Jumbos are now 11-8 overall and are 3-0 to begin the NESCAC East season, while Bates falls to 4-5 (0-3). Bates will play two at Husson on Tuesday at 4 p.m.

Game 1 Box Score: Tufts 9, Bates 3

Game 2 Box Score: Tufts 8, Bates 0