Wheaton Falls To Defending National Champions, Tufts University, In Extras

Wheaton Falls To Defending National Champions, Tufts University, In Extras

Berardi goes five strong in the loss

MEDFORD, Mass. – The Wheaton College softball team dropped a 2-1 decision (eight innings) to Tufts University, the defending NCAA Division III national champions and No. 2 ranked team in the country, on Tuesday evening at Spicer Field.

Jumbos' junior All-American Allyson Fournier (South Windsor, Conn./East Catholic) remained perfect on the season in the circle (16-0) going all eight innings, while yielding four hits, one run (earned) and two walks alongside a game-high 11 strikeouts.

Wheaton junior Emily Berardi (Boston, Mass./Boston Latin) was effective through five innings of work allowing four hits, one run (earned) and two walks in addition to one strikeout. Sophomore Jillian Rocha (Rehoboth, Mass./Dighton-Rehoboth) gave up just one hit in two scoreless frames, while freshman Danielle Cimino (Cumberland, Maine/Greely) was dealt the hard-luck loss.

With the tie-breaker rule in effect in the bottom of the eighth and Tufts senior Chrissie Massrey (San Juan Capistrano, Calif./St. Margaret's Episcopal School) on second base, an errant throw on a bunt allowed Massrey to score the winning run and help the Jumbos extend their winning streak to 20-straight games.

The Lyons nearly took a 2-1 advantage in the top half of the eighth with runners on first and third with one out, but Fournier induced a pop out to third, walked the next hitter she faced and got out of the frame unscathed with a fly out to left field.

Wheaton tied the game against Fournier in the sixth after freshman Rebecca Seifert (Franklin, Mass./Franklin) was hit-by-a-pitch to leadoff the inning. A bunt single by sophomore Emma Hart (Lincoln, R.I./Lincoln) and a walk to senior shortstop Jenna Rocha (Rehoboth, Mass./Dighton-Rehoboth) loaded the bases. The Jumbos got an out at the plate on a fielder's choice, but freshman pinch hitter Caroline Fairbanks (Milford, Mass./Milford) singled to left scoring Hart to tie the game. With the bases still loaded, Fournier got a strikeout to end the inning.

Tufts managed a single run in the third as junior third baseman Bri Keenan (Portsmouth, N.H./Portsmouth) hit a one-out single, stole second and scored on a single up the middle by sophomore shortstop Christina Raso (Burlington, Mass./Burlington).

Hart finished the contest with a 2-for-4 showing and one run scored from the second spot in the lineup to lead the Lyons offensively.

Wheaton (30-9) will take on Smith College (18-12) on Saturday, May 3 at 10 a.m. in Wellesley, Mass. in the New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) Tournament. The Lyons and Pioneers both enter Saturday's matchup with one loss in the tournament's double elimination format. The winner of Wheaton/Smith will then play first-seeded Wellesley in the NEWMAC title game. Tufts (34-3) will play Middlebury in its conference tournament on Saturday at 5 p.m.

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