Skip to Content, Navigation, or Footer.
The Tufts Daily
Where you read it first | Sunday, May 19, 2024

Tufts softball sweeps weekend road trip

Jumbos continue their hot streak with a series of wins.

KaitlynPerucci_03.jpg

Kaitlyn Perucci is pictured against Williams on March 31.

Tufts softball’s weekend road trip started off at the Amherst Softball Field on April 6. Despite the days of rain leading up to the game, the weather stayed relatively calm on Saturday, with a chilly overcast replacing the consistent downpour. The Jumbos entered the doubleheader leading the NESCAC with an overall record of 144, facing a sixth-place, 49 overall Amherst Mammoths team. Already this deep into the season, the Jumbos knew all there was to know about the Mammoths and were prepared to handle the game like the better team.

“Our coach just tries to set up a lot of drills that are tailored to [our opponents’] specific type of play just so that we can be prepared for whatever they’re going to throw at us. I think we also try to keep our basic softball skills sharp,” sophomore utility player Lauryn Horita said. “We also know that throughout the season, a lot of teams are going to come at us because they have nothing to lose.”

This preparation was clearly effective, as the Jumbos took the first of two games with a score of 40. The Jumbos were first on the board with one run in the second inning and piled on three more runs in the sixth. Junior catcher Keriann Slayton was responsible for the game’s first two runs, with a solo home run in the second inning and an RBI double in the sixth, which scored Horita. Slayton would score on a wild pitch to put the Jumbos up 30. Senior infielder Bela Jimenez scored the last run after a single from senior outfielder Michelle Adelman. On the defensive end, senior pitcher Sky Johnson is credited with the win after throwing a complete game and only allowing three hits. With this win, Johnson’s season record improves to an impressive 61. With a solid win in the first of two games, the Jumbos were poised to do something similar in their second game versus the Mammoths.

“We could have had more productive offensive performances. [We need to continue] to work on jumping out early, keeping our defense really clean, making adjustments from at bat to at bat,” Horita said.

It seems that Horita was not the only one who thought the Jumbos could have been more effective at the plate. In the second game, the Jumbos put up a whopping 12 runs off 16 hits to win the game in shutout fashion 120. Sophomore utility player Kaitlyn Perucci smashed a two-run single in the first, scoring graduate student utility player Rachel Moore and Adelman. The scoring continued in the third inning when Horita hit a two-run home run. Later that inning, Adelman hit a two-run single and was eventually brought home by an RBI single from Moore, capping a five-run third. The onslaught continued in the fifth as a single from Moore scored another run, and graduate student utility player Josie Steinberg drove in two more with a single. Perucci then hit a two-run homer, scoring Steinberg. Overall, this offensive masterclass was backed by a complete game from senior pitcher Sophia DiCocco, who allowed just one hit and improved her record to 73 on the season.

The Jumbos’ momentum did not slow on April 7, when they visited the Hamilton College Continentals for a doubleheader. As the sun broke through the clouds for the first time in almost a week, the Jumbos went to work. Coming into the game, having won seven of their last eight games, it is no surprise that the Jumbos won this matchup 31. The Jumbos opened the scoring in the second inning with an RBI double from Jimenez. They added two runs to their lead in the third inning, when Moore scored on a throwing error by the Hamilton catcher, and some excellent base running saw Steinberg score after a groundout by Perucci. While Hamilton managed to get one back after a series of throwing errors in the fifth inning, Tufts never lost its edge. Johnson put up her second complete game of the weekend, allowing just three hits.

In the second game of the day, it was Hamilton who jumped out to the early lead in the third inning, scoring on an errant throw. The Jumbos responded instantly in the fourth when first-year infielder and catcher Heaven Oliva’s single scored Horita to tie the game. However, Hamilton nabbed their second lead of the day off an RBI double in the fifth inning. This would be the last time they led, as Oliva homered to tie the game in the seventh. Later that inning, the Jumbos managed to score two more off an RBI double from Moore and an RBI single from Steinberg to secure the win. Sophomore pitcher Claire Guitmann pitched six innings and was credited with the win, with a one-inning assist from DiCocco. Combined, they allowed six hits, and Guitmann improved to 30 on the season.

“I think for us, a lot of times when we’re in a one or two run deficit, [we focus] on getting something started and feeding off of the success of our teammates. So if one of our teammates gets a hit, we try to keep that going to get those runs back,” Horita said. “I think to do that, we just focus on keeping our energy and communication up and to not get down if we’re behind in the game.” 

Overall, a solid 40 weekend established the Jumbos as the dominant force in the NESCAC. They hope to keep this momentum going as they gear up for a run at the NESCAC and national championships.

“Obviously, we’d love to win a NESCAC championship, and the ultimate goal is also to win the national championship. That’s something that our program historically has had success in, so we’re looking to get back to that and be able to keep the championship name for our program,” Horita said.