WORCESTER -- Tufts scored seven runs in the top of the sixth inning and held the WPI softball team to just two hits as the Jumbos defeated the Engineers 9-0 in six innings to open the best-of-three NCAA Super Regional round at Rooftop Field.
The teams will continue their series tomorrow at 5:30pm in Worcester. If WPI (33-15) wins game two, a winner-take-all third game will be played immediately after for the right to advance to the NCAA Division III Finals.
Sophia DiCocco (Bozrah, CT) threw a complete game two-hitter for the Jumbos (36-10), striking out three and allowing just two singles and no walks. After giving up a one-out single to Alex Sheehan (Marion, MA) in the first, DiCocco retired ten straight Engineers on her way to improving to 18-5 in the circle.
DiCocco also had two of Tufts' 14 hits, one of five Jumbos with multi-hit games. First baseman Nicole Russo (Scottsdale, AZ) and catcher Emma Jacobson (Washington, DC) each went 3-4 with two RBIs and a run scored.
Jacobson gave Tufts the lead with an RBI single to center field in the top of the second, and the visitors doubled their advantage an inning later on a sacrifice fly by Josie Steinberg (Larchmont, NY), who also drove in a pair.
Russo had two of her hits and both of her runs batted in in the sixth inning. She opened the scoring in the frame with a triple to center field to score DiCocco, and then crossed the plate on a single up the middle by Jacobson.
That knocked out WPI starter Katie Martin (Bedford, NH), who falls to 23-6 on the year after allowing four runs with five strikeouts over five plus innings.
The Jumbos didn't let up in the frame, however, as they would go on to score seven runs on eight hits. Michelle Adelman (Cooper City, FL) doubled in a run to make it 5-0, and Bela Jimenez (Oak Park, CA) plated a run with a single to right field. Adelman and Jimenez would each come in to score, first on an RBI groundout by Steinberg and then via a single to center field by Rachel Moore (Atkinson, NH).
Russo capped the scoring with her second RBI hit of the frame, a single through the left side to score Moore.
Shaina Lazarus (Thousand Oaks, CA) had the other base hit for the Engineers, while Sheehan also stole a base in the defeat.