BABSON PARK, Mass. – The Babson College softball team swept Tufts University in a non-conference doubleheader on Monday afternoon, 12-6 and 4-3. The Beavers were led by junior Kayla Davis (Gardner, Mass.), who finished with a team-high five RBI and a grand slam home run in game one. With their seventh and eighth straight wins, Babson improved to 19-13 on the season, while Tufts dipped to 13-12.
Tufts started off with a bang in game one with back-to-back doubles in the top of the first from juniors Lizzy Iuppa (Paranus, N.J.) and Lena Cantone (Southington, Conn.). First-year Jo Clair (Glastonbury, Conn.) then blasted a home run to right center field to give the Jumbos the early 3-0 lead.
The Beavers quickly answered with a big first inning of their own. Sophomore Jackie Enos (Taunton, Mass.) and junior Jess Pashos (Winchester, Mass.) both walked to start the inning. Senior Jess Winer (Longmeadow, Mass.) and junior Kayla Davis (Gardner, Mass.) both followed with walks, with Davis’ free pass forcing in the team’s first run. Sophomore outfielder Ashley Phelps (West Chester, Pa.) doubled to right center brought home Winer and Pashos, and a single by first-year Sam Pilkington (Westborough, Mass.) drove in Davis. Pilkington then stole her fourth base of the season before scoring on a single by sophomore Breezy DiPietro (Essex, Mass.) to give Babson a 5-3 lead after one.
Babson kept the momentum and tacked on two more runs in the second as the bases quickly became loaded when Enos walked followed by a fielder’s choice sacrifice bunt and a single from sophomore Catie Funk (Scarborough, Maine). Another single from junior Nicole Latini (East Bridgewater, Mass.) brought home Enos followed by a sacrifice fly from Winer to drive in Pashos, upping the Babson lead to 7-3.
A five-run fourth inning for the Beavers looked to put the game away as two singles and a hit-by-pitch loaded the bases. After a Winer single drove in Pashos, Davis hit a grand slam to right center to give the Beavers a 12-3 lead. Davis’ homerun was the 10th of her career which put her in sole possession of third place on Babson’s all-time home run list.
Tufts fought back in the fifth closing the lead to six, 12-6, by taking advantage of some Babson defensive miscues. Cantone was walked and Clair then reached on a fielder’s choice and advanced to second on a throwing error. Sophomore Emily Beinecke (Concord, Mass.) reached base on another fielding error that allowed Cantone and Clair to both score. A single from senior Izzie Santone (Madison, Conn.) then gave the Jumbos the third run of the inning, driving in Beinecke and preventing the eight-run rule from being invoked.
The Beavers would be unable to score any additional runs, but first-year pitcher Tess Rubega (Norwich, Conn.) was able to hold Tufts to only two hits over the final two innings on her way to the 12-6 win. With the fourth straight victory, Rubega improved her record to 5-7 on the season.
Leading Babson in game one were Funk and DiPietro, who each finished with two hits, and Davis, who had a game-high five runs batted in.
First-year Lauren Giglio (Niskayuna, N.Y.) took the loss for Tufts, pitching three full innings. Santone had a team-high two hits and Clair finished with two RBIs.
Babson scored two runs early in game two to take the 2-0 lead after one inning. Enos was put on base with a walk and Pashos and Funk both reached on a fielder’s choice. A double from Latini then brought in Pashos while Funk was thrown out on her attempt to score. A single from Winer then brought home Latini to give the Beavers the 2-0 lead.
Babson added two more runs in the third when Pashos singled to right field and advanced to second base on a Funk groundout. Latini was walked and then both runners advanced on a Tufts illegal pitch. Winer then reached on a fielder’s choice loading the bases, and two more illegal pitches allowed Pashos and Latini to trot home for a 4-0 Babson lead.
Tufts got on the board in the fourth inning when first-year Sara Hedtler (Wrentham, Mass.) singled through the left side. Clair would then blast her second home run of the day and team-high 13th of the season to left field, giving the Jumbos two runs and cutting the lead in half, 4-2.
The Jumbos struck again in the fifth when junior Mira Lieman-Sifry (Hastings-on-Hudson, N.Y.) walked to start the inning. A groundout followed by a single from Iuppa advanced her to third and she then scored on a single from Hedtler, cutting the Beavers lead to 4-3.
Tufts threatened in the seventh when Iuppa doubled and Hedlter earned a base after being hit by a pitch. However, sophomore pitcher Megan Brain (Pompton Plains, N.J.) was able to induce a game-ending pop-up on which Funk made a great diving catch as Babson held on for the 4-3 victory.
Brain pitched seven full innings for the Beavers, allowing seven hits and three runs while striking out three. Latini and Winer led Babson with one run and one RBI apiece in game two.
Sophomore Rebecca DiBiase (Wellesley, Mass.) went the distance on the mound for Tufts, pitching six full innings and allowing four runs on four hits while striking out six. Clair led the Jumbos with two hits and two RBI.
The Beavers will next visit Wellesley College on Tuesday for a New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) doubleheader beginning at 3pm. Tufts will next play a doubleheader at Bridgewater State on Wednesday starting at 3:30pm.