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The Tufts Daily
Where you read it first | Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Softball


The Setonian
Softball

Softball | Offense sets goals to start season

Despite graduating four seniors last season, including two important offensive producers, the softball team will try to fill in the holes to have a successful 2005 season. The team already has some offensive goals and is ready to get the season underway.


The Setonian
Softball

Softball | Smith comes to the plate with lots to live up to

When then-junior Katie Smith began signing e-mails to her coach POY, a lighthearted reference to being named 2004 NESCAC and ECAC Player of the Year, coach Cheryl Milligan responded by coining a new nickname for her standout first baseman - POLY, meaning Player of Last Year. The nickname stuck, and in addition to shedding some light on the dynamic between player and coach, it has posed a challenge to Smith in 2005.


The Setonian
Softball

Softball | Freshmen improve pitching staff

Despite its 16-16 performance last year, the softball team is primed for a good performance this season, and pitching could be the needed catalyst. The team has five players who could become staff aces but no one is willing to say who will hold that position.


The Setonian
Softball

Softball drops doubleheader

The softball team dropped two more games yesterday at home against the Bridgewater State Bears, falling 5-1 in the opener and 2-1 in the second game. The losses dropped the Jumbos record to 5-11. After a hot 5-1 start, the Jumbos have dropped 10 straight, including four since returning home from their spring break trip to California. Senior Pam Swidler took the mound in the first game and didn't pitch poorly, allowing five runs (three earned) on eight hits in seven innings, striking out three and walking three in the loss. But the Jumbos' offense was nonexistent in the game, as they were held to one run or less for the sixth time in ten games. The offense was shut down by sophomore pitcher Kaitlyn Gambino, who pitched a complete game, allowing just one run on three hits, striking out nine. The Jumbos defense showed slight signs of improvement, only committing two errors in the contest, although they lead to two unearned runs. "We just didn't have the run support to win either game," senior tri-captain Deana Davidian said. "I think we just had an off day, the umpire had a wide strike zone but we can't blame anything on that, both of their pitchers were decent but we could have hit them." Defensively, game two was a different story. Jumbo pitcher sophomore Sarah Conroy struggled a bit in the first inning, allowing one run on three hits. She settled down and threw zeroes until the top of the sixth inning, when two costly errors by sophomore third baseman Laura Spring and two wild pitches by Conroy allowed to Bears to tack on what would turn out to be the game winning run. "We definitely struggled on defense in the first game, and in the second game," Davidian said. "We have two new third basemen and we just need to work with them to get things straightened out." The Jumbos still couldn't find a rhythm on offense, however. Bears pitcher Katie Tauber took a no-hitter into the seventh, when the Jumbos finally got a rally going. Davidian led off with a single to get things started for Tufts. Junior shortstop Courtney Bongiolatti followed Davidian with a single of her own, and junior first baseman Katie Smith walked to load the bases. Senior tri-captain Julie Fox singled home a run in the cleanup spot, which proved to be the final batter for Tauber. With the bases full and nobody out, the Jumbos seemed assured of at least knotting the score. However, the Bears brought Gambino back into the game, and she struck out the next two Jumbo hitters and got the third out on a pop fly in the infield to secure the save. Tufts looks to bounce back from yesterday's contests when it faces one of its most important two day stretches of the season. Today, the squad will face off against the Bowdoin Polar Bears in a makeup doubleheader that was cancelled last weekend due to rain. The squad will then head to Bates on Saturday afternoon for a double dip with the Bobcats in Lewiston, Maine, with the first pitch scheduled for 12:00 p.m. Tufts will have to be on top of its game defensively in order for it to be successful against its two foes. The squad's offense has been the most dominant in the NESCAC-East thus far this season, but its woeful defense has caused it many problems in recent games. The three errors per game that the Jumbos average is not fully indicative of the consistently poor defense that the team has played, and it will need to sharpen its skills in the field to be competitive. Bowdoin, who like the Jumbos, has yet to play a NESCAC game, is currently 9-5 overall on the season. The Jumbos split last season's series with the Bears, but know they can win both if they stay sharp in the field and at the plate. Junior ace Caroline Greico will take the mound for Tufts, looking to lead the team to its first victory since March 23. Sophomore hurler Julia Brenta will get the nod for game two. "We started to play Bowdoin last weekend, and I definitely felt that there was a difference in the atmosphere," Davidian said. "We had extra motivation and fire in us because it's our first NESCAC game. We'll be up for them, and I'm really confident that we're going to beat them and break our losing streak." Saturday afternoon in Lewiston, the Jumbos will look to freshman Lauren Ebstein and either Swidler or Greico. The Bobcats have already played two NESCAC contests, getting crushed 12-5 and 4-0 by the Trinity Bantams last Saturday afternoon. Despite this, the Jumbos aren't taking the game lightly. "I think we're a much stronger team than Bates," Davidian said. "Even if we struggle on offense, defense, or both, I think we should beat them fairly easily."


The Setonian
Softball

Softball looks to conquer Bowdoin

Coming off two disappointing losses on the front and back end of Wednesday's doubleheader against the Springfield Pride, the softball team looks to begin its climb back to .500 tomorrow afternoon when it tees off against NESCAC opponent Bowdoin at Spicer Field. Tufts will look for some of the same offensive power that it produced against the Pride, when it was led by senior tri-captain Julie Fox, junior shortstop Courtney Bongiolatti and first baseman Katie Smith, and sophomore DH Sarah Conroy. All four Jumbos homered and drove in eight of Tufts' ten runs on the afternoon. Normally, five runs per game is plenty for the Jumbos' solid pitching and defense. The squad allowed five or fewer scores in seven of its first ten contests this season and in 33 of 39 games last season. But Junior Caroline Grieco started game one and allowed nine runs (six earned) on 13 hits and two walks, striking out three. Grieco started off and finished strong, allowing just two combined runs in innings one, two, and six. However in the middle innings Grieco struggled, allowing seven runs on ten hits. "I don't think she's pitched as well as she's capable of pitching," senior tri-captain Deana Davidian said. "But she did an okay job and we still could have won that game with her pitching performance." Sophomore hurler Julia Brenta took the hill for Tufts in the nightcap, fairing somewhat better than Grieco but still unable to earn the W. Brenta gave up six runs (five earned) on nine hits with two walks and two strikeouts in six innings pitched. The sophomore was perfect in the first and last two innings of the contest, but got rocked for six runs on eight hits in the third and fourth innings. "I think that I pitched well," Brenta said. "There were definitely some key hits in their favor, but I felt my pitches were working and for the most part the balls they connected on were hit on the ground." In addition to the squad's shaky pitching, the Jumbos committed four errors in the first game and two more in the second, leading to a combined four unearned runs over the two games. "Our defense has been struggling lately. Our errors on defense in the Springfield game were a carryover from the second half of our spring break trip when we struggled on defense," Davidian said. "I'm not really sure what the deal is but it's something we're aware of and working out in practice, and I expect it to improve drastically in the future." Tufts will have to be on top of its game, both offensively and defensively, to outlast the Polar Bears. Bowdoin finished the NESCAC East in third place last season with a record of 4-3, just a game and a half behind the Jumbos and Colby White Mules in first. Tufts and Bowdoin split their doubleheader last year, with the Polar Bears winning the first game 2-1 and the Jumbos drawing even in game two with an 11-5 rout. The Polar Bears so far are 9-5 overall, albeit against much weaker competition than the Jumbos have faced. The key to the Jumbos coming out on top, according to Davidian and Brenta, is team defense. "We have one of the strongest offensive lineups in New England, so our offense will always come around," Davidian said. "But we need to focus on having a clean game on defense, minimizing our errors and keeping the other team's run total down so we can let offense go to work." Brenta agreed. "We are definitely the better team and we need to come out there and prove it to them," she said. "The key to our team winning right now is playing solid defense. We have been getting into innings in which we struggle, but if we can play solidly as a team and pick each other up we will win."



The Setonian
Softball

Tufts Softball 2004

The Tufts Softball program is no stranger to success, having earned three consecutive NESCAC crows and seven straight NCAA tournament births. This year's squad, headed by former assistant Cheryl Milligan and captained by seniors Deana Davidian, Julie Fox, and Maggie McClory, looks to continue the program's NESCAC dominance and bring the team to its eighth consecutive NCAA birth. The squad finished the 2003 season tied with Colby for first place in the NESCAC East with a record of 6-2. They conquered Williams, 4-1, in game seven of the NESCAC championship. Their national championship hopes were dashed when the squad fell to Keene State in ten innings in the regional semifinals later that month. Fox, junior Courtney Bongiolatti and then-senior Lis Drake were voted to the All-Conference first team, while Davidian and junior Katie Smith earned all-second team honors. This year, the team looks to use its young, talented pitching staff and powerful offense to repeat as NESCAC champions and advance even further in the NCAA tournament.


The Setonian
Softball

Softball team looking to continue reign as NESCAC champs

The softball team looks to continue its dominance at the plate after leading in almost every offensive category in the NESCAC last season. Almost every player from last year's squad is returning, making the transition for the three-time defending NESCAC champs all the easier. The 2003 Jumbo offense provided pop at the plate, leading the NESCAC in home runs with 27, 18 ahead of its next closest competitor, Williams College. The prolific attack also scored 187 runs last season with the Middlebury Panthers in a distant second at 148 runs. The Jumbos' .293 team batting average was second only to the Panthers' in the conference. Senior tri-captain Julie Fox will return for her final season following a productive junior year at third base. She batted .382 with six home runs and 32 RBI in 2003; an effort good enough for an All-New England First Team selection. The new Jumbo catcher has her sights set on the best pitchers New England has to offer. "We're looking to hit good pitching this year," said Fox. "Last year, and in years before, we crushed average pitching but haven't hit good pitching well at all, leading to our downfall in regionals." Classmates Deana Davidian at second base and Maggie McClory in the outfield will join Fox as tri-captains. Also among the team's returning starters is junior shortstop Courtney Bongiolatti, who hit .402 with seven home runs with 33 RBI last season. Infielder Katie Smith looks to build on a strong sophomore campaign in which she hit .328 with four home runs and 33 RBI. Both Bongiolatti and Smith earned All-New England Second Team selections for their efforts last season. Graduation essentially left two major holes in the Jumbo lineup at the third base and right field positions. However, Milligan currently has six undisclosed prospects for both spots. Freshmen Lindsay Evans, Lauren Ebstein, and Annie Ross, and sophomores Laura Spring and Sarah Conroy should all have numerous opportunities to make plays this season. Their combined efforts will be key in filling the void left by departed senior slugger and catcher Lis Drake, last season's NESCAC Player of the Year. The added depth will give Tufts the luxury to use multiple pinch hitters and pinch runners. "Our strength is in our hitting, and while we lost Lis, Katie, Fox and Courtney can all put the ball out of the park regularly," coach Cheryl Milligan said. "We also have a lot of other girls that hit for contact and are very good at getting on base." The newly appointed head coach brings with her a tradition of great offensive play to the Jumbos, her name appears multiple times in the Tufts softball all-time record book. If her players have any say in the matter, however, many of her records might be broken. The Jumbo offense will certainly have to play a large role again this season to return as NESCAC Champions for a fourth time, but it certainly does not lack the necessary confidence. "[Winning NESCAC's] is always a goal for us," Bongiolatti said. "And this year is no different." "There isn't any pressure to repeat," said Fox. "We know that we are good enough to do it, and we just need to get out there and get the job done."


The Setonian
Softball

Softball coach moves to Williams

Softball head coach Kris Herman has left the Tufts program she nurtured for 16 years. The NESCAC coach of the year for the last three seasons will take over the helm as head coach for league rival Williams College. "It was a life change," new head coach Cheryl Milligan said in reference to Herman's decision. "It was a big city lifestyle versus the country for her." Herman had a long history with the Tufts softball program. She played for the first Jumbo varsity team in 1985 and graduated from Tufts in 1986. She earned a degree in political science and then a master's in teaching, also from Tufts, in 1989. Immediately after graduation in 1986, Herman was appointed assistant to then-head softball coach Dave Caputi. She would move up the ranks to the top coaching position just one year later in 1987 when Caputi left to coach at Williams. Herman built her program with active recruiting and helped Tufts establish itself as a top NESCAC team. Over her 16 years, the Jumbos were 339-154-3 with a .684 winning percentage. The team has qualified for seven straight NCAA tournaments (1997-2003) and has won three straight NESCAC titles. In 2000, the Jumbos made it to the Division III NCAA World Series. The 2003 season was yet another success for Herman's team. The Jumbos finished ranked 25th in the final National Fastpitch Coaches Association poll. In the NESCAC, Tufts players finished in each of the top three positions in hits, runs, RBI, homeruns, and total bases. The squad's 27 homeruns led the league and the Jumbos won their third straight NESCAC championship. Herman was named head coach of the Williams Ephs by athletic director Harry Sheehy beginning August 1. She will take over for Fran Vandermeer (68-35 in three years as head coach) who will remain with Williams as Herman's assistant. Cheryl Milligan will take over for Herman on an interim basis. Milligan has been an assistant coach since 1998 and played shortstop for the Jumbos from 1992-1995. She came to Tufts from Lansdale, Pennsylvania in 1991 for academics as well as softball. After earning her undergraduate degree in biology and environmental science, Milligan went on to a master's in education and is currently working on her PhD at the Tufts School of Nutrition. While playing for Tufts, Milligan was fourth all-time in batting average (.377), and was second in career runs scored with 119. Her team won the ECAC North Championship during her senior season with a record 31 wins. As the fourth coach of the Tufts softball program, Milligan will bring experience and prior knowledge of the team. She worked with All American and 2003 NESCAC player of the year, graduate Lis Drake, as the hitting and outfield coach for the past four seasons. She also helped Herman with recruiting duties. "Tufts has been where most of my coaching experience has come from," Milligan said. "It is a very successful program because our players are extremely accepting of coaching." Milligan will have senior tri-captains Julie Fox, Deana Davidian and Maggie McClory to help with her transition from assistant to head coach. "These three captains are part of what made me decide to stay here, it wasn't the job or the money, but the players," Milligan said. With Drake and Nikki Blotner being the only graduates leaving the team, the 2004 Jumbos will look very similar to those of 2003. This will make Milligan's transition all the easier as she and most of the players will already be well acquainted. "We are a successful program and most of our traditions will be the same," senior tri-captain Deana Davidian said. "There will be some changes, but we basically have the same team back again. [Milligan] will put her own little twist on the program." As for the already poignant rivalry between league foes Tufts and Williams, Herman's defection will add an extra spark when the teams meet. "I'm confident it will make us a little more focused and anxious to play Williams," Davidian said. "It will be a strengthened rivalry between our two teams."


The Setonian
Softball

Softball season ends at hands of Keene State

Tufts softball's season came to a heartbreaking end last weekend as the school's perennial powerhouse team suffered a second- round 3-2 loss to Keene State in the NCAA regional tournament. After extending its reign as NESCAC Champions to three years in a row and its streak of NCAA appearances to seven, the team earned the number one seed at the NCAA regional tournament. Favored to win it all, the Jumbos were hoping to return to the College World Series after a three-year hiatus. Keene State put an end to the team's dreams, however, in the second game on Saturday, May 10. "I really wanted to go back to the World Series," senior co-captain Nikki Blotner said. "But things go the way they go and we gave it our best shot.' After an early first-round loss to Western New England College in the double elimination tournament, the Jumbos pulled off a victory against Fitchburg State to avoid an early exit. The Jumbos advanced in the losers' bracket to face Keene State with the knowledge that their season was on the line. "We were definitely really pumped for this game because we knew that they were a good team," senior co-captain Lis Drake said. "I was really confident in the pitching and we wanted this so badly. We went as hard as we could and unfortunately it didn't work out." The first five innings of the game featured a tense pitching match-up, as freshman Julia Brenta matched the Owls' Meghan McLoughlin pitch for pitch, leaving both teams scoreless after five. It was in the sixth that the Jumbos finally broke through with two runs. Pairing clutch hits and taking advantage of error opportunities, the Jumbos came out of the sixth inning up 2-0 on the Owls and poised to take the victory. "We definitely felt like we were going to win the game," junior Julie Fox said. "It's just so frustrating to watch runs being scored on you when you can't do anything about it since you're not involved in every play." As fate would have it, the Owls refused to die, coming back in the bottom of the seventh for two runs of their own, forcing the game into extra innings. It was in the bottom of the tenth that the Owls finally put an end to the Jumbos' season. A controversial call on a hit by pitch put the winning run on base. The run eventually came in to score as senior Shauna Mullen, whose home run helped the Owls tie the game in the bottom of the seventh, hit a walk off single to win the game 3-2 for Keene State. "It's really disappointing because we knew that we were just as good if not better than any other team," Drake said. "Just looking around the dugout, there were so many players there who didn't want to leave." While the Jumbos season ends in disappointment, the team accomplished much to be proud of. The team earned its spot in the NCAA tournament after winning its third consecutive NESCAC Championship, a feat that few other teams at Tufts earned this year. The team won the NESCAC tournament in grand fashion, overcoming school rival Williams in a forced game seven to continue their reign. The tournament featured a game seven for the first time in the double elimination tournament's three-year history. After a close 2-1 loss to Williams in game six, the Jumbos were determined to win it all in game seven of the tournament. "It was a good position to be in that they had to beat us twice," coach Kris Herman said. With yet another strong performance from sophomore pitcher Caroline Grieco, the Jumbos scored all of their runs in the bottom of the fourth. Taking advantage of intentional walks, the team needed only three hits to win it all. "Winning NESCACs is something that gave us confidence going into NCAAs," Drake said. "It's definitely something to be proud of." For a squad as competitive as the softball team, a NESCAC Championship was not enough to satisfy. Walking away from NCAAs disappointed that the team did not advance further, the Jumbos still looks back on the successful season fondly. "After losing four great players we stepped up this year and are as competitive if not more," Blotner said. "I definitely come away proud of it."


The Setonian
Softball

Softball continues to roll with weekend sweep at Trinity

Strong pitching and good hitting helped the Jumbos raise their NESCAC record to 4-0 this weekend as the team rolled past Trinity 8-0, 5-1 in Saturday's doubleheader. A pitching tandem of starters sophomore Caroline Grieco, and freshman Julia Brenta worked together to produce the two victories while the Jumbos' defense finished up with an errorless day in the field. Going into the Trinity games, the Jumbos wanted to come out strong to set the mood for the day. "If we're the better team, we want to set the tone and jump on teams right away," coach Chris Herman said. The day started just as the team planned with the Jumbos offense scoring five runs in the top of the first before Grieco even took the mound. The offensive strike began as Tufts' leadoff hitter, senior co-captain Nikki Blotner, reached first after a bean ball and then advanced on a wild pitch. The Jumbos' scoring attack was spurred by a key two RBI hit from sophomore shortstop Courtney Bongiolatti. This was the second of the six hits that led to all five of the team's first inning runs. On the mound, Grieco followed the tone the offense set with a strong performance protecting the comfortable lead. Pitching only four innings while nursing an arm injury, Grieco finished the day allotting no runs and only allowing two hits. Despite her stellar pitching performance, Herman pulled Grieco out after four innings in order to keep her from further injuring herself. While Grieco's injury may affect her playing time, Herman does not see it impeding the success of the team. "If she can pitch four innings she should be okay," Herman said. "I don't think it's going to get a lot worse and she's going to have to play through some pain, which we're not thrilled about." Relieving Grieco of her duties in the fifth inning was junior Pam Swidler. While Herman hoped to give Swidler more innings, the Jumbos scored three runs in the top of the fifth forcing an early finish to the contest due to the run rule. While the Jumbo offense was able to score eight runs on the day, Herman and teammates were still not pleased with the performance. After going scoreless in the middle three innings, including stranding four runners on base, the team hopes to gain more consistency with their hitting in the future. "We've been tending to score runs in one inning," Blotner said. "We'll be working on scoring all the time and not just settle when we get a lead." The lack of consistency on offense plagued the Jumbos in the second game as well, although once again, strong pitching and a one inning offensive burst helped pull the team ahead to victory. Game two featured a much tighter matchup as the score remained tied at zero for the first four and a half innings. Keeping the Jumbos in the game while the offense stood still was Brenta. The rookie finished the day with seven innings pitched, allowing six hits and only one run. Trinity took the game's first lead. A single and a RBI double put the Bantams up 1-0. The Jumbo offense responded in the top of the sixth with two runs and then another three in the top of the seventh. The big hit in the sixth inning came from first baseman Katie Smith whose double put the Jumbos in the lead for good. In the end, Tufts traveled home with two more victories to add to its NESCAC record, meeting the expectations the team had set for itself. "In all, the NESCAC games we expect to win," Blotner said. "All the teams in the conference are good and they can be good competition, but we should win them." While the offense may have some things to work on during practice this week, highlighting the team's accomplishments on the day was the defensive performance. Asking her outfielders to be aggressive earlier in the week, Herman was pleased with the strong play of junior Maggie McClory in the outfield, noting a run-preventing catch early in the day that set the tone for the outfield and defense as a whole. Despite a few offensive concerns, the team goes into practice this week hoping to build off of their performances at Trinity in order to prepare for a busy upcoming weekend.


The Setonian
Softball

Softball team prepares for Bowdoin, Williams

Heading back onto the road twice this weekend, the women's softball team looks forward to a doubleheader against NESCAC East competitor Bowdoin on Saturday followed by a tough doubleheader against arch rival Williams on Patriots Day. Restricted from playing at home since late March due to inclement weather, the team has yet to let the constant travel wear on its playing ability. "The travel is just a necessary evil," coach Kris Herman said. "The NESCAC games are games we'd like to play well so we're always fired up to do it." The weekend will start off in Maine as the Jumbos take on the Bowdoin Polar Bears in an inter-conference matchup. These games are especially important to the team because a sweep of the Polar Bears would help assure the Jumbos a chance to host the NESCAC tournament. Losses might put the team's ability to host the tournament in jeopardy. "If we don't take two at Bowdoin we probably will not host the tournament and we really want to host the tournament," Herman said. Currently the Jumbos (5-1 NESCAC) sit four games ahead of Bowdoin (2-2) and Colby (2-2). Yet losses would open the door for both of these later teams to enter the running for the division championship and tournament hosting honors. While both Colby and Bowdoin have many NESCAC games left to play in order to help their own positions within the conference, a Jumbo sweep of the Bears would basically guarantee Tufts the division title. "We want to take care of business on our end," Herman said. Last season, the team had little trouble with the Polar Bears, shutting them out in a two game sweep, 2-0 and 8-0. Bowdoin has a 7-13 record overall and graduated a fair amount of seniors from last year's squad. Herman is confident that the Jumbos will be able to pull off the wins. "They're an average team, I think that we're certainly better than they are," Herman said. After facing-off against Bowdoin on Saturday, the team will be able to enjoy Easter Sunday before hitting the road again Monday to face the Williams College Ephs. The pre-season favorite to win the NESCAC West and the Jumbos' former opponent at the NESCAC Championships, the Ephs will be one of the tougher opponents the team has on its schedule. Though the match-ups against Williams do not count against the Jumbos' NESCAC East record, the games are still important because NESCAC games outside of a team's division are used as the first tiebreaker in deciding who will host the tournament. "Williams was the favorite to win the West and they've played a very tough schedule. It should be a good game," Herman said. Going into the contest, Tufts is carrying a fair number of pitchers who will be able to help the team to victory if called upon. While sophomore Caroline Grieco will most likely be asked to pitch, freshman Julia Brenta, junior Pam Swidler and freshman Sarah Conroy have all been pitching well and could step up if needed. Though Brenta had a tough start against Colby last weekend, Herman is not concerned about the loss she accumulated during her last pitching appearance. "Julia didn't have a great game on paper, but really it was some junky hits that you can't do anything about," Herman said. Conroy pitched two scoreless innings against Bates while Swidler shut out the Bobcats in the second game of the Bates doubleheader. Along with solid pitching, the team carries several hot hitters into the game as well. Senior co-captain Lis Drake along with sophomore Kim Smith and junior Julie Fox have each been hitting the ball hard in the team's last games. Though the offense did have some troubles scoring past the first inning against Babson on Tuesday, the Jumbos hope that the hitting deluge that took place throughout the weekend will pick up again this weekend.


The Setonian
Softball

Softball team avenges early season loss with 4-2 win at Babson

Behind another strong pitching performance from sophomore Caroline Grieco, the softball team improved its record to 16-9 overall on Tuesday afternoon beating out conference foe Babson 4-2. Rushing to get out of classes to make it over to Babson Park, the team had no trouble getting the offense going, putting three runs on the board in the top of the first. "It was tough to get in a rhythm early but we came out and scored and got on the board early," coach Kris Herman said. After a tough loss 7-2 loss to Babson during the spring break trip to California, Babson entered the game with a 12-12 record that included a tough win over Wheaton College last week. Therefore, the Jumbos were prepared to face-off against this strong out of conference opponent and happy to turn the tables. Moving runners into scoring position through walks and wild pitches, the Jumbos first run came when junior Deana Davidian scored on a wild pitch. The next two runs came off of a sacrifice fly from senior co-captain Lis Drake driving in senior co-captain Nikki Blotner, and an RBI single from junior Julie Fox. After scoring early in the first, the Jumbos offense settled down and scored again on a fourth inning RBI single from freshman Jess Barrett. Unfortunately for the Jumbos, the hot offense that carried the team through the weekend did not continue to shine. "You always wish you could score whenever you want to, but we didn't need to," Herman said. "Offensively we did okay." Behind 4-0 going into the fifth inning, the Beavers were unwilling to go quietly; to the Jumbos though, scoring two runs to cut the lead in half. With only a two run lead in the bottom of the seventh inning, the Beavers once again threatened with the help of a few defensive lapses on the Jumbos behalf. Two errors from the short stop position allowed the Beavers to put two runners on the bases. Another single given up by Grieco loaded the basses with only one out putting the Jumbos in a precarious position. Fortunately, Grieco was able to take herself out of a jam on a pop out and grounder to give Tufts the final 4-2 victory. Despite her injury early in the season, Grieco has been able to pitch well for the Jumbos. The sophomore has a torn ligament in her elbow but her ailment has not worsened from pitching. Despite the availability of other pitchers, Herman wanted to use Grieco in order to keep to keep her sharp for the upcoming weekend. "We have a lot of pitchers who can pitch for us, but we wanted to get more innings in for her," Herman said. As the team prepares for another busy weekend against NESCAC opponents, Herman is not concerned with the offensive issues from Tuesday. "I'm not really too concerned about [Tuesday's] hitting. We have a lot of talent on our team so we'll be ok," Herman said. "We will work on our hitting in practice the rest of the week but not in response to anything." For the rest of the week, the Jumbos now focus on NESCAC opponents Bowdoin, who they face in a road trip double header on Saturday.


The Setonian
Softball

Softball fares well in trip to Maine

Pulling away from NESCAC East teams in the standings, Tufts further secured their top spot in the division with three conference wins last weekend. Playing double headers against both Bates and Colby this past weekend at Bates, the Jumbos came home with a split against Colby and a sweep at Bates. Playing two make-up games against Bates on Sunday from previously cancelled games, the team returned home with 10-3 and 8-0 wins. The sweep improved the Jumbos' conference record to 5-1 (with a winning percentage of .833). The squad opened the day with a 10-3 victory against the Bobcats behind the pitching of sophomore Caroline Grieco and freshmen Sarah Conroy. Despite the many changes to its schedule and the unanticipated trip to Maine, the team did not allow the situation to further lower their spirits. "It's difficult to play without a lot of practice. There are little things that we could be better at if we had been practicing," freshman Julia Brenta said. Still, without a usual week of practice, the Jumbos strengths came through on Sunday helping them complete the sweep. In Game One the Bobcats seemed to jump on Grieco early, scoring all three of their runs in the top of the first inning. Tufts bats responded to the Bobcats in the bottom of the first, though, taking the lead with four runs of their own. "She got off to a rough start but she came back from it and the offense really stepped things up," senior co-captain Nikki Blotner said. Tufts' runs came on both a two run home run by sophomore Courtney Bongiolatti and a two run triple from sophomore Katie Smith. Unlike Bates, the Jumbos' offense did not rest after gaining a lead either. Tufts struck again in the third inning with more "small ball" as it used sacrifice bunts and sacrifice flies to move runners and bring them home. The inning's runs came from junior Deana Davidian's two run double and a sacrifice fly from Blotner. As the Jumbos continued to score offensively, Grieco settled down, blanking the Bobcats for the next four innings. She was relieved by Conroy in the fifth who continued the strong pitching for the team, recording two scoreless innings to finish off the game. Tufts scored again in the fifth and the sixth innings to record the day's first victory. The Jumbos bats did not rest for long though as they continued to swing hard in the second game of the day as well. Scoring another 13 hits in game two and eight more runs, Tufts finished their sweep of the Bobcats with an 8-0 victory called in five innings due to the eight run slaughter rule. Senior co-captain Lis Drake continued her hot hitting, opening the game with a two run home run. The blast was her sixth of the year. After breaking the Jumbos career RBI record on Thursday against Bridegewater State, Drake continued her offensive onslaught through the team's weekend trip. However, Drake was not the only Jumbo to have a strong offensive day as junior Julie Fox, Bongiolatti, and Blotner were all able to add to Tufts' run tally. After a week of practicing indoors only due to field conditions, the Jumbos credit perhaps their focus on hitting for the reason behind their offensive performance this weekend. Meanwhile, silencing the Bobcats offense was junior Pam Swidler who the finished the day with five innings, three hits and no runs allowed. "It was a must win because we really want to host the NESCAC tournament," Blotner said. "We had to shut down Bates. There was no question about." The Jumbos offense and defense looked just as strong in Game One on Saturday as well as Tufts took on Colby. Due to poor field conditions in Medford, the team played Colby at Bates as the home team. The day began well for the Jumbos as they stretched their winning streak to three games with an 8-0 victory behind another strong pitching performance from Grieco paired with an offensive explosion from the Jumbos. The game started as Fox hit a two run home run in the first inning to give the Jumbos the 3-0 lead they would never let go. Drake's offensive hot streak continued as she hit a three run home run in the fourth to put Tufts up 8-0. After the Mules were unable to score in the top of the fifth, the game was called due to the mercy rule. "[Drake is] the kind of player that wants to be in clutch situations and the kind we want in good situations," said Blotner. Unfortunately, the Jumbos could not continue with their winning ways in the afternoon's second game. Tufts began the game by taking the lead 1-0 in the top of the first. Behind Brenta's pitching, the team was able to hold that lead until the Mules tied it up in the top of the fourth. The pitching duel continued until the top of the sixth when Colby's offense finally showed life, scoring four runs to secure the lead. In the end, the White Mules were able to pull off the upset, 5-2. "We had won the first game and came into the second game being ready to mercy rule them and get it over with, we may not have had the intensity to go after it," Blotner said. "They're the sort of team you can't let down your guard on or they'll come back and bite you and they did." Brenta added, "When you play the game before up by eight, you go into the next game and have to clear the slate completely since it is a completely different game. But, you feel like you have a lead even when the score is 0-0." Despite the conference loss, the Jumbos sit four games ahead of Bowdoin in the NESCAC East standings with a good chance of hosting the NESCAC tournament. Bowdoin is the next conference opponent the Jumbos face in an away double header this Saturday. Currently, the team's focus is on out of conference foe Babson who they are scheduled to play this afternoon at 4:30 p.m at Babson College.


The Setonian
Softball

Softball to play a pair of double headers in Maine

With the weather finally clearing up, the softball team was actually able to play a pair of games yesterday, when it traveled to Bridgewater State for a non-conference weekday double-header. The Jumbos won both ends of the twin-bill - with a 2-1 victory in game one and an 11-3 drubbing in game two. Now that the Jumbos have gotten past Bridgewater, the team is readying itself for a pair of important weekend double-headers. Due to cancellations last week, instead of playing at home against Colby and then traveling to Bates for the make-up game, the Jumbos will remain in Maine for the weekend and play Colby at Bates as the home team. Saturday's contest against Colby features a match-up of contenders for the NESCAC East division title. Though the White Mules enter with a 3-6 record overall (as of Thursday afternoon) and have yet to play a game in the NESCAC, Tufts coach Kris Herman is aware of the strength of her competition. Last year, Colby put up quite a fight against Jumbos despite a record of 12-11-2, compared to Tufts at 25-7. The underestimated young team mounted an eight-run rally late in last year's game, and nearly defeated the Jumbos. Though Tufts eventually smothered Colby's hopes of a victory by scoring two runs in the seventh inning for a 9-8 victory, Herman would like to prevent the need for a late inning resurgence this time around. "They still have a relatively young team," Herman said. "They came back with eight runs last year to tie it up even though we ended up beating them. They play with a lot of confidence and they will be up for us, so we've got to be up for them." Sunday the team will play a make-up doubleheader against Bates. The Jumbos were originally scheduled to play the Bobcats last weekend but had to call the game due to inclement weather conditions. Bringing a 1-5 overall record (0-0 in the NESCAC) to the table, the Jumbos are confident that a victory against Bates is within reach. Tufts easily handled the Bobcats 8-0 and 5-2 in last year's double-header. And while Bates has improved from last season, its improvement most likely has not brought it to the level Tufts plays on. "They were not a strong team in the NESCAC last year and they're probably a little bit better but not a lot," Herman said. "They're a team we should beat." Though the Jumbos should be able to pull out victories over both of their opponents, it is important that the team keep its focus this weekend. As the squad has four NESCAC East games this weekend, solid play on the road should secure the top seed in the post-season tournament. Going into the weekend, the team hopes to use all of its pitchers. Sophomore Caroline Grieco and freshmen Julia Brenta have performed well for the team of late, with Brenta earning NESCAC Player of the week honors after her performance in a 2-1 win over Wheaton. But Herman hopes that this weekend will also give junior pitchers Pam Swidler and Sarah Conroy a chance at the mound as well. Due to weather issues causing multiple cancellations, the coach has had little opportunity to use the other available pitchers. "Caroline and Julia have both been throwing very well," Herman said. "But I'm hoping that all four of those kids get a chance to throw." Meanwhile, junior Maggie McClory will remain relegated to outfield duties, but only because the Jumbos are in need of her strong defensive skills. Though the Jumbos are the stronger team in both of this weekend's match-ups, the team needs to focus on getting all three cylinders (offense, defense and pitching) to click together. "We learned in the Western [Connecticut] game that all the little things matter," Herman said. "Our hitting was not great and our pitching and our defense didn't click at the same time. So picking things up not as individuals but just as a game is what we have to work on.' After a hard week of practice, the team hopes to accomplish its goals and return home further ahead in the NESCAC East standings.


The Setonian
Softball

Softball team splits Sunday double header against top competition

Despite some of the stiffest competition of the season, the softball team wrapped up its weekend with a split, defeating Wheaton 2-1 then losing to Western Connecticut State 4-2. Mother Nature forced the cancellation of the team's scheduled conference doubleheader against Bates last Saturday and almost wiped out its scheduled double header against Wheaton and Western Connecticut on Sunday due to bad field conditions at Tufts. In order to get Sunday's games in, the Jumbos had to hit the road and play their games at Wheaton, where they were the home team despite being on the road "I think that we definitely wanted to play at home but clearly the weather was out of our hands," senior co-captain Nikki Blotner said. After resting for nearly a week, the Jumbos started the day off strong by jumping on Wheaton quickly. "Going into it we were really pumped up," said senior co-captain and catcher Lis Drake. "We hadn't played in a very long time and we were so ready to go. We had a great start." Freshmen Julia Brenta began the game by retiring the opponents in order, to bring the Jumbos up to bat in the bottom of the first. The offense got going right away as junior Julie Fox singled in sophomore Courtney Bongiolatti and junior Deanna Dravidian on a two out single. Fox's hit drove in the only runs for the Jumbos in the first game. "Being able to shut them down on defense and step it up at the plate was crucial for the control in the game," Drake said. Brenta and the Jumbos stayed in control of the game from the first inning on. Wheaton may have had a chance to score in the third inning, but its left fielder was picked-off by Drake after leading too far off the base. "Whenever we can pick someone off second its really exciting cause it doesn't happen very often," Drake said. After that inning it was almost smooth sailing for the Jumbos as Wheaton did not pose a threat to the Jumbos victory until the top of the seventh inning. Yet after scoring on an RBI double, the Jumbos squashed any attempt at a true rally and put a seal on the game. Brenta pitched seven innings, and after retiring the first eight batters, allowed just six hits and one run, while striking out three. For her work, Brenta was named NESCAC Player of the Week on Monday. As Wheaton was ranked higher than the Jumbos (sixth in the New England poll to the Jumbos seventh), the team was pleased with its victory. "Wheaton is definitely our rival and such a huge game to win because they are right at the top in New England. It's important for our standings," Drake said. After its exciting win, the team had little time to celebrate as it immediately went on to play Western Connecticut State University in its second game of the day. Facing off against another strong non-conference rival, the Jumbos luck was not as strong the second time around. Behind sophomore pitcher Caroline Grieco, the Jumbos were unable to capitalize on a strong pitching performance and instead let mental errors get the best of them. The game started off looking good for the Jumbos as they jumped out to another 2-0 lead. RBI singles from Bongoliatti and Fox once again provided for the team's offense in the bottom of the third inning. Unfortunately for Tufts, Western Connecticut responded in the top of the fourth inning, and overcame its 2-0 deficit to post a four run inning and take the lead 4-2. A series of errors allowed Western Connecticut to spark a rally. "They didn't necessarily beat us so much as we lost. We just didn't play as strong as we can," Blotner said. Despite Grieco's strong day on the mound, the Jumbos' errors left Western Connecticut with four runs scored, but only three earned. Along with the errors, Grieco also struggled with some questionable calls from the umpire. "It was really tough for her because the umpire was very scattered, he just called a very poor game which was really frustrating for her," Drake said. "We definitely could have won that game, we had a lot of opportunities to score and win and we just didn't pull it off when we needed to." In the end the Jumbos fell to Western Connecticut 4-2, bringing their record to 10-8 on the season. Despite the split on the day, the Jumbos still stand at the top of the NESCAC standings with their 2-0 record. The team now looks forward to Bridgewater State on Thursday along with a busy schedule of NESCAC opponents this weekend, with double headers against Colby and Williams.


The Setonian
Softball

Softball prepares for busy weekend with four games over two days

The women's softball team faces a busy upcoming weekend in which it will see three teams in doubleheaders on both Saturday and Sunday. The Jumbos will play a double header at home on Saturday in another important NESCAC match-up. Yet, the team's true test should come on Sunday when it matches up against Western Connecticut College and Wheaton College, two of the strongest teams in New England. While the two doubleheaders will be trying on the squad, the Jumbos are confident that they can handle the onslaught of competition. Considering that both of their Sunday opponents also have Saturday doubleheaders on their schedule, the Jumbos will have the advantage playing on their home field. "It's not our favorite schedule but there's nothing you can really do in the springtime," coach Kris Herman said. Saturday will pit Tufts against NESCAC rival Bates. The Bobcats enter with a 1-5 overall record, having yet to play a conference game. The competition should not be too stiff as Tufts easily handled the Bobcats 8-0 and 5-2 in last year's doubleheader. While the team has improved from last season, the strides it has taken will most likely not be enough to challenge the Jumbos. "They were not a strong team in the NESCAC last year and they're probably a little bit better but not a lot," Herman said. "They're a team we should beat." While Bates may not be the Jumbos strongest opponent, the fact that it is a NESCAC rival makes them the most important opponent for the team this weekend. It is their NESCAC record that will determine their post-season conference tournament seeding. The true test for the Jumbos strength will come on Sunday when they face out of conference teams Western Connecticut and Wheaton. Western Connecticut enters ranked seventh in New England while Wheaton at 16-2 currently sits atop the rankings. Tufts is currently ranked sixth. Each team will bring strong pitching and hitting against the Jumbos, but Herman is confident that her team will be able to pull out a victory in the end. "We don't really need to do anything too different," Herman said. "We're just going to go out there and give it our best shot." With her pitching lineup still unsettled for the weekend, Herman has hopes of using sophomore Caroline Grieco on both Saturday and Sunday. Plagued with an arm injury early in the season, Grieco was held to pitching only four innings in last weekend's match up against Trinity. Yet, Herman hopes that her injury will not force her into limited play again this weekend. If Grieco is unable to perform, the Jumbos still have a strong core of pitchers to choose from. This includes freshman Julia Brenta who recorded a seven inning one run victory last weekend and junior Pam Swidler, who gained the most experience pitching for the Jumbos over spring break. Along with strong pitching, the team also brings a solid lineup to the plate. While hitters such as sophomores Katie Smith and Courtney Bongiolatti quickly come to mind for their key hits against Trinity, Herman is pleased with the recent performance of most of her hitters. "We kind of have a lot of people doing some good things right now. We're pretty confident in our lineup up and down. I don't think anybody is especially hotter than another right now," Herman said. Despite the strength of pitching they will be facing in on Sunday, Herman once again hopes her team's power hitting ability will come into play, instead of choosing to play 'small-ball.' "We're a power hitting team. They [Western Connecticut and Wheaton] both have excellent top of the line pitchers but there's nobody we can't hit," Herman said.


The Setonian
Softball

Softball team goes 5-7 over Spring Break

After it traveled to California to get its first action of the spring season, the women's softball team returned home 5-7. While the team left for spring break with the intention of winning each game, the prime reason for the trip was a chance to play outdoors. With the snow-covered fields of Massachusetts, the Jumbos saw outdoor action for the first time this season. "It was our first time outdoors, it was our first time seeing ground balls on the dirt and that's one of the things that California was for," senior co-captain Nikki Blotner said. "We really needed to go out and get some experience as a team." And after scoring over five runs in four of their five victories, coach Kris Herman and teammates alike were pleased with the offensive talent displayed along their trip. "We have a strong offensive team there's no question about that," Herman said. With a number of power hitters rounding out the Jumbos lineup, the ability to get clutch hits for a victory will be a strong point for this team. As displayed during the Jumbos trials, this clutch hitting will be necessary for the team to achieve success. This was made even more evident by Tufts' problems defensively. "The jury is still out on the pitchers as individuals and as a staff," Herman said. With forearm injuries to sophomore pitcher Caroline Grieco and freshman pitcher Julia Brenta, along with a need for junior Maggie McClory to help in the outfield, the Jumbos were left to rely on freshman Sarah Conroy to pitch more games than originally expected. With the team's most experienced pitcher in Grieco and Brenta out for many of the games, the team was left with minimal pitching options during a trip that consisted of daily double headers. Though the staff is expected to be healthy for the rest of the season, Herman is slightly concerned with the pitchers' inability to benefit from the practice time. Along with lack of pitching, the Jumbos also suffered from several defensive laps that hurt the pitchers as well. With 20 errors within the teams 12 games, Herman knows that the defense will need to improve its skills if the Jumbos plan on being successful. "There aren't any excuses we just didn't get the job done," Herman said. Yet, teammates and the coach alike are sure that many of these lapses were due to the team's early season lack of live experience. Once these kinks are worked out though, the team should be able to compete with any opponent. "If we play strong defense we will win a lot of games," Herman said. The defense should work itself out soon considering that the Jumbos lineup is fairly set, allowing for position players to focus on their abilities. "We have a lot of position players, we have a good sense of who is going to play what position. We can focus in on being really strong at what we're doing," Blotner said. With the Jumbos strong offensive hitters, the team will not need stellar pitching. As long as the team plays a solid game, the hitters should be able to carry it to victory for most of the season. After playing so many games in California, the team is now excited to begin regular practices along with its NESCAC schedule. The Jumbos first opponent will be a double-header this Wednesday at home against Springfield starting at 2:30. The Jumbos are ranked seventh in the New England Intercollegiate Softball Coaches Association (NEISCA) preseason poll. Springfield, ranked eighth in the same poll brings with it some of New England's strongest hitters and a strong returning core. Even with this difficult match-up, the Jumbos are still confident that a win is within their reaches.


The Setonian
Softball

Softball has trouble over Bridgewater

For the first time in over a year, the women's softball team (13-7) was shut out. Three hours later, they were shut out again. Although Bridgewater State did not bring a strong record (8-11-1) into the game, the perennial New England powerhouse put up two solid pitching efforts, beating Tufts 2-0, 7-0 in yesterday's doubleheader. "We just didn't have our hitting shoes on today," coach Kris Talon said. Senior Jodie Moreau engaged Bridgewater senior Betsy Ahearn in an epic pitcher's duel in the first game. After five innings of scoreless play, the Bears opened it up with three straight hits, and eventually scored two runs (one earned) in the inning. Ahearn finished the complete game giving up a mere two hits to the typically potent Jumbo offense. Moreau, despite another fine pitching performance, picked up her first loss of the year (10-1). "Jodie pitched another good game," Talon said. "She only gave up one earned run. We just need to score more." In the nightcap, Bridgewater's offense came on strong, capitalizing on some Jumbo fielding errors to put a quick seven runs on the board through the first four innings. Freshman Caroline Grieco settled down on the mound eventually, but the errors proved costly, since Tufts was never able to muster any offense support. Among the two best-hit balls in the game for Tufts came from Moreau in the DH spot, as she sent two balls deep to right center, but they were both flagged down by the outfielder just before the fence. Aside from a few scoring opportunities, senior pitcher Amanda Sanson kept the Jumbos in check, and an airtight defense did not allow Tufts any free chances. "They were definitely hittable," senior co-captain Emily Ferrazza said. "We may have just underestimated them." "We're still a good team," Talon said. "I don't know why we lost. It was nothing earth shattering. We just can't sit back and rely on what we've done in the past." Without much time to dwell on the loss, Tufts will travel to Brandeis tomorrow and will host Eastern Connecticut for a doubleheader on Sunday in a busy stretch of eight straight non-conference games. Brandeis enters the game with a mediocre 7-11 record, including a 1-7 mark in the University Athletic Association. The record might be deceptive though, as the Judges topped NESCAC powerhouse Amherst 7-1 back on April 5. Currently Amherst (11-7, 4-0) is the only other team in the NESCAC besides Tufts with an undefeated record. Brandeis brings a lot of muscle to the plate, but the team's pitching has been its downfall thus far this season. Five starters are hitting over .300 for the year, led by Sara Albert, who was batting .519 with four homeruns through 13 games. In fact the team batting average is an impressive .331. The pitching, on the other hand, has posted a 6.01 ERA, led by sophomore Leigh Warren (4.89), despite her 1-5 record. Last year, graduate Rachel Brecher pitched a four-hit shutout against Brandeis, as Tufts went on to win 6-0. On Sunday, the Jumbos return home to play a doubleheader against Eastern Connecticut State University (11-9). After stumbling out to a 1-6 start, the Warriors have gone 10-3, rolling over New England opponents, including Trinity, a NESCAC team. Last year, Brecher and Moreau both pitched shutouts as the Jumbos topped the Warriors 7-0 and 12-0. "We need to hit better this weekend," Ferrazza said. "We've been in a bit of a batting slump for the past three or so games, so we will try to hit like we can."


The Setonian
Softball

Softball tames fifth ranked Lyons

With a seventh inning rally, the women's softball team broke open a 1-1 tie against Wheaton College on Wednesday, defeating the fourth-ranked team in the country 3-1. With the victory, Tufts improves to 10-5, while Wheaton slips to 11-3. In the top of the seventh, seniors Emily Ferrazza and Jen Mackey led off with singles, and classmate Tiffany Trahan advanced both runners on a groundout. Junior Lis Drake hit a bouncer to the shortstop, who was unable to make a play, and Ferrazza charged home for the winning run. Mackey added an insurance run, as sophomore Julie Fox hit a sacrifice fly to left field. The Lyons did not go down without a fight, though, loading the bases with two outs in the bottom of the seventh. Senior co-captain Jodie Moreau remained composed on the mound and forced a routine groundout to the shortstop to end the game. The Jumbos entered the game ranked17th in the nation and second in New England, behind only Wheaton. Last year the two teams split a doubleheader, and Wheaton went on to win the New England Championship and placed third in the College World Series. Moreau put together another solid performance, pitching her sixth complete game of the year, giving up one run and five hits. Fanning three Wheaton batters, she moved within three strikeouts of the all time mark of 334, held by Michelle Lima '97. Now 8-0, Moreau owns a NESCAC-best .44 ERA. Following last Saturday's doubleheader against Trinity - when Tufts put 28 runs on the board - Wednesday's contest was much more of a pitcher's duel. Both teams were held scoreless through five innings, until sophomore Deana Davidian opened the scoring for Tufts with a bases loaded bloop single in the top of the sixth. "From a pitching standpoint, it's always uncomfortable when you don't have the lead," Moreau said. "The pressure is always on when you don't have much run support. Having runs on the board helps maintain confidence, and you don't have to worry about digging yourself out of a hole." Freshman Courtney Bongiolatti said it was frustrating to not score as many runs as the team usually does. "With Jodie pitching we weren't worried about them getting runs. Eventually we had a big inning, and in a game like that, you don't need a lot of runs to win." In the game, Tufts hit nine singles, as Mackey and Davidian had two apiece. Moreau scattered five Wheaton hits, none of which went for extra bases. Going 2-3, Mackey improved upon her NESCAC-best batting average, raising it to an incredible .591. For Wheaton, only freshman Jennifer Nelligan was able to connect twice, as she went 2-3 from the plate. Bongiolatti said the team had added motivation to top Wheaton. "Before the game Emily and Jodie told us how important this game was for the upperclassmen, so we really wanted to go out there and win it for them," she said. "Since Wheaton was ranked so high in the national rankings, this should bump us up." A doubleheader was originally scheduled, and the second game was played for roughly two innings. Tufts built a 5-1 lead, with freshman Carolin Grieco on the mound, but the contest was called due to torrential downpours. On Saturday at 1 p.m., the Jumbos host a doubleheader against Bowdoin (10-5-1), in a rematch of last year's NESCAC Championship. Tufts won that game 8-2, but split the regular season doubleheader. The Polar Bears are led by senior Katie Sheridan, who is fourth in the NESCAC with a .468 batting average and a returning member of the First Team All-NESCAC. The club's ace, senior Jessie Poulin, has an impressive 0.73 ERA in ten games pitched. Also pitching will be returning NESCAC Co-Rookie of the Year Erin Hanley, who posted a 1.39 ERA last season. The upcoming game will be important for the NESCAC East standings, as well as pride, but the Jumbos are confident with their current level of play. "We've been playing one game at a time," Moreau said. "Wheaton was our first hurdle and now we will focus on beating Bowdoin."