Hit Parade

With a decisive win over WPI, Tufts softball earns its fourth straight berth in the NCAA finals

members of the Tufts softball team gather with NCAA super regional trophy

The Tufts softball team will play in the NCAA Division III finals for the fourth consecutive season after a 6-1 victory over WPI on May 15. The Jumbos swept the best of three NCAA championship super regional series played at Spicer Field on the Tufts campus.

The Jumbos, who won the first game of the super regional, 8-0, in five innings on May 14, are the two-time defending NCAA Division III champions. They will attempt to become the first NCAA Division III team to win three consecutive national titles when they play in the 2015 NCAA finals in Salem, Virginia, starting with a game against Alma College on May 21 at 6:30 p.m.

Senior Michelle Cooprider, named Most Outstanding Player of the super regional, went 3 for 4 with a run and an RBI on May 15. Most Outstanding Pitcher Allyson Fournier took a perfect game into the seventh inning before recording her 30th win of the season, with no losses.

With the victory, Tufts kept its NCAA Division III record winning streak alive at 48 games, improving to 46-0 on the season. The program will be making its sixth appearance in the NCAA finals (2000, 2009, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015).

WPI first-year pitcher Kelsey Saucier matched zeroes with Fournier for four innings. Tufts, playing as the visiting team, stranded five runners in the first three innings. Cooprider led off the third with a double and advanced on a ground ball. However, Saucier was able to prevent her from scoring with a ground out and a fly out.

The Jumbos finally broke the stalemate when Keenan walked to lead off the fifth, Saucier’s fifth free pass of the game. Keenan promptly stole second and then scored when Cooprider bounced a double over the third baseman’s head.

Leading just 1-0 heading into the seventh, Tufts broke it open by scoring five runs. A two-run single by sophomore Cassie Ruscz and back-to-back WPI errors produced the runs. Cooprider singled and scored, and sophomore pinch-hitter Shelby Lipson walked and scored in the inning.

Fournier was perfect through six before WPI first-year Nina Murphy-Cook had an infield single to lead off the seventh. She stole second and took third when the throw went into the outfield. Engineer first-year Ama Biney followed by breaking up the shutout with a line-drive single to left. Fournier nipped the WPI rally by retiring the next three hitters to end the game.

Cooprider, who was 4 for 4 with a home run, four RBIs and two runs scored in game one, finished the super regional 7 for 8 (.875) with five runs scored and three RBIs. Fournier, who allowed two hits and an unearned run with 12 Ks and no walks in game two, in 12 innings overall struck out 23 and walked none while allowing five hits and no earned runs.

Tufts is making its 15th NCAA appearance overall, with a 52-25 record in NCAA games.

Tufts Sports Information Director Paul Sweeney can be reached at paul.sweeney@tufts.edu.

Back to Top