SUPER REGIONAL BOUND! No. 20 MIT Wins Regional Title With 7-0 Victory Over No. 18 Tufts

SUPER REGIONAL BOUND! No. 20 MIT Wins Regional Title With 7-0 Victory Over No. 18 Tufts

THE BASICS:

- Scores:

No. 18 Tufts 2, No. 20 MIT 1 (Game One)
No. 20 MIT 7, No. 18 Tufts 0 (Game Two)

- Records: MIT (36-8-1); Tufts University (32-10)

- Location: Cambridge, Mass. (Briggs, Field) – NCAA Cambridge Regional Championship

- The Lead: After falling to Tufts University, 2-1, in game six of the 2018 NCAA Division IIII Cambridge Regional Tournament, the MIT softball team blanked the Jumbos, 7-0, in a winner take all game to win the regional title for the second time in three seasons. With the win, the Engineers improve to 36-8-1 and advance to the NCAA Super Regional next weekend and will take Williams College at a site to be determined later. Tufts sees its season come to a close with a 32-10 record.

After the championship game the All-Tournament team was announced and includes the following student-athletes: Dayna Marchant (Framingham St.), Gigi Braga (UMass-Boston), Sarah Finnigan (Tufts), Kristina Haghdan (Tufts), Kristi Van Meter (Tufts), Raven Fournier (Tufts), Jasmin Joseph (MIT), Devon Goetz (MIT), Colleen Campbell (MIT) and Ravenne Nasser (MIT – Most Outstanding Player).

HOW IT HAPPENED: Game One

- RBI singles in the first and fourth innings was all of the offense that Tufts would need to force a game seven in the Cambridge Regional as the Jumbos once again got a great pitching performance from Kristi Van Meter. In the top of the first, Sarah Finnigan plated Sammy Siciliano on an infield single as Siciliano began the game with a single up the middle and moved to third on a long single to right center by Raven Fournier.

- In the top of the fourth, Finnigan began the frame by reaching on an error. She moved to second on a single by Casey Maggiore, advanced to third on a sacrifice bunt by Emma Della Volpe and then scored on an RBI single by Emily Serata.

- MIT answered with its first run of the game in the bottom of the fourth when Sarah Von Ahn (West Linn, Ore.) plated Jasmin Joseph (Woodland Hills, Calif.) on a groundout to first base. Joseph began the fourth with a bunt single, moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Devon Goetz (Rockville, Md.) and advanced to third on a single to right by Amanda Lee (Saratoga, Calif.) before coming across to score on Von Ahn's groundout.

- The Engineers had the tying and go-ahead runs on base in the bottom of the seventh after back-to-back singles by Madi Pickett (Santa Barbara, Calif.) and Katherine Shade (Glencoe, Ill.), but Van Meter got Erika Anderson (Carlsbad, Calif.) to strikeout to force a winner take all game seven.

INSIDE THE NUMBERS:

- Van Meter improved to 15-5 for Tufts as she tossed seven complete innings, scattered four hits, allowed one earned run and struck out eight batters. Colleen Campbell (Snoqualmie, Wash.) took the loss on 3.1 innings, six hits, two runs (one earned), one walk and one strikeout. Ravenne Nasser (Methuen, Mass.) shut down the Tufts bats over the final 3.2 innings and kept the Engineers in the game as she allowed just one hit and one walk to go along with four strikeouts.

- Siciliano went 2-for-4 and scored a run at the top of the Tufts lineup, while four different Engineers notched one hit apiece including Joseph, Lee, Pickett and Shade. Von Ahn's RBI in the fourth inning broke the program record for most RBI in a single season and now has 36 to her credit this spring.

HOW IT HAPPENED: Game Two

- The MIT bats exploded for three runs in the second and four runs in the sixth to help the Engineers win the Cambridge Regional. On top of the offensive output from MIT, Nasser threw a two-hit complete game shutout in the circle to move her record to 20-4 and earn the honor of the Most Outstanding Player in the Regional.

- A two-run double by Goetz plated the first runs of the game for MIT in the top of the second and on that same play, Joseph scored the Engineers third run on a throwing error by the centerfielder. In the frame, MIT loaded the bases after two walks and a bunt by Michelle Wist (Cypress, Texas) before Goetz cleared them with her double. 

- MIT put the game out of reach in the top of the sixth with four runs in the frame. The Engineers took advantage of two errors by Tufts and timely hitting including an RBI single by Anderson and a two-run single to right center by Joseph.

- Nasser shut down the Tufts bats 1-2-3 in four of seven innings and got the final two batters of the game to strikeout to clinch the Regional Title for MIT, its second in three seasons.

INSIDE THE NUMBERS:

- Nasser moved to 20-4 with seven shutout innings for the Engineers, while Tufts starter Kristina Haghdan dropped to 13-4 as she lasted just two innings, allowed two hits, three runs (two earned), four walks and struck out four.

- At the top of the MIT lineup, Joseph and Goetz combined to go 2-for-6 with four RBI and two walks and one run.

- The Engineers won their second Regional Championship in three seasons this afternoon and will play Williams College in the Super Regional round this coming weekend. This year marked the first time in program history in which MIT hosted a regional and the Engineers also avenged a nine-inning loss to Tufts in the 2015 NCAA Medford Regional final three years ago.

- The Super Regional round of the softball tournament brings together the final 16 teams in Division III. The MIT softball team will be the sixth team this season to reach the Sweet 16. Prior to softball, women's volleyball, women's soccer, field hockey, men's basketball and women's tennis have all reached that stage of the NCAA Tournament.

UP NEXT:

- MIT will play No. 12 Williams College at a site to be determined later in the Super Regional round this coming weekend. Stay tuned into MITAthletics.com for all information regarding the next stage of the NCAA Tournament.

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