Medford, MA --- Junior Lindsay Gurska (Revere, MA), the NEWMAC Player of the Year, sent an RBI single through the right side in the bottom of the eighth as No. 22 WPI edged three-time defending champion Tufts, 3-2 (8 inn.), in the 2016 NCAA Division III Softball Championship Medford Regional winners bracket final Saturday at Spicer Field.
The Engineers (37-7) snapped the Jumbos (29-11) 13-game winning streak in the NCAA tournament and now await the results of this afternoons games to see who they play tomorrow at noon for the regional title. Salve Regina and Becker meet at 1:30 with the winner playing again at 4pm versus Tufts. The winner of the 4pm contest will advance to Sunday. WPI needs only one more win to capture the regional crown.
Similar to game two of last year's super regional against the Jumbos, the top of the order came through late for the Engineers as sophomore Nina Murphy-Cook (Roseville, CA) singled and stole second before moving to third on a single by sophomore Ama Biney (Worcester, MA). Biney also swiped a bag to put a pair in scoring position. After Murphy-Cook made it back to third safely following a rundown, and a lengthy discussion, Gurska ended the game with her hit.
The game was tied 1-1 after two complete thanks to RBI singles up the middle by Tufts senior Christina Raso (Burlington, MA) in the first and WPI sophomore Katie Chagami (Waipahu, HI) with two outs in the bottom of the second.
Tufts had the bases juiced before an out was recorded in the top of the third; however, a sacrifice fly by junior Summer Horowitz (Briarcliff Manor, NY), a ground out and another fly ball netted only one run for the 2-1 advantage.
Biney drilled a two-out RBI single in the fifth to even it up before leading what ended up being a defensive clinic by both clubs the balance of regulation with a diving rolling catch for first out of sixth.
The bases were loaded once again for the Jumbos before head coach Whitney Goldstein made the call to senior Clare Doolin (Newton, MA) who induced an infield liner, a grounder that cut down the lead runner and a swinging strikeout to keep the game knotted at 2-2 in the eighth.
Sophomore Casey Arpin (Uxbridge, MA), who retired 12 consecutive batters, including a clean fifth, sixth and seventh, went seven-plus with 10 hits and a strikeout for the Engineers. Sophomore Raina Galbiati (Boulder, CO), meanwhile, allowed eight hits in the complete-game for Tufts.
Murphy-Cook (two stolen bases) and Biney (stolen base) each had a pair of hits to go with a walk and a hit by Gurska and Chagami.
Junior Carrie Copacino (Newton, MA) was the only Jumbo to log more than one hit as classmate Cassie Ruscz (Wolcott, CT), the NESCAC Co-Player of the Year, accounted for a hit and a walk.
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