Hartford, Conn. - With two outs in the fifth inning of a 1-1 game, Bantam rookie Alex Chambers (East Lyme, Conn.) came up with the bases loaded and crushed a bases-clearing triple to centerfield to give the Trinity College softball team the lead for good as the Bantams defeated the Tufts University Jumbos, 4-2, on Friday afternoon in the first of a three-game New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) East series between the two schools. Trinity improves to 11-7 overall and 3-1 in divisional play while the Jumbos fall to 20-6 on the year and 5-2 in the conference. The two sides return to action for game two of the series tomorrow at noon before game three, shortly after the conclusion of tomorrow's first tilt.
With both teams locked in a 1-1 battle through four and a half innings of play, Trinity loaded the bases in the fifth to set up Chambers' clutch triple. Sophomore Samantha Witmer (Drexel Hill, Pa.) led off the inning with a hit by pitch before classmate Jenna Thomas (Orange, Conn.) singled to move Witmer to second. Tufts starter Kristi Van Meter (Amston, Conn.) induced back-to-back outs but Trinity senior tri-captain Nicole Towner (Erie, Colo.) extended the inning with a walk to load the bases. That brought up Chambers who laced a ball past the centerfielder, scoring Witmer, Thomas and Towner.
Trinity jumped ahead, 1-0, after a scoreless first thanks to a dropped third strike with the bases loaded that allowed Towner to take home. The Jumbos got one back in the following half inning when Mia Steinberg (Larchmont, N.Y.) cranked a solo home run to left field for her second home run of the spring. Trinity starting pitcher Madeline Spencer-Orrell (Northampton, Mass.) limited the damage in the third to the home run as she stranded a pair of baserunners to end the frame.
After Trinity took the lead in the fifth, the Jumbos cut the deficit to 4-2 in the top of the sixth on an RBI-single by Emma Della Volpe (Concord, Mass.). After Della Volpe's base knock, Tufts had the bases loaded, but Bantam junior tri-captain Lindsay Pressman (Huntington, N.Y.) kept the lead safe. Pressman induced a bases loaded groundout that cut down Emily Serata (Voorhees, N.J.) at the plate before getting a ground ball out to end the threat. Pressman retired the side in order in the seventh to pick up her first save of the season and help seal the 4-2 victory.
Thomas was the lone Bantam to finish with multiple hits while Towner scored two times on the afternoon. Steinberg was 2-for-4 with a run scored and an RBI on her solo shot for a Jumbo squad that stranded nine runners all afternoon. Spencer-Orrell picked up her sixth win of the year in the circle, scattering five hits across 5.1 innings of work while striking out one. Van Meter racked up six strikeouts on the day despite being saddled with the loss.