Ducinski, Kelley help Judges salvage split with Jumbos

Casey Ducinski '13 (Photo by SportsPix)

MEDFORD, Mass. (courtesy Tufts sports information)- Local foes Tufts University and Brandeis University split a softball double-header on Sunday afternoon at Spicer Field. Jumbos Lena Cantone (Southington, Conn.) and Jo Clair (Glastonbury, Conn.) combined for seven RBI in Tufts' 8-2 win in game one. Brandeis sophomore Casey Ducinski (Duxbury, Mass./Duxbury) pitched a four-hit shutout and senior 1B Courtney Kelley (Leicester, Mass./Notre Dame Acad.) hit a three-run home run for a 4-0 Judges win in the nightcap.

Brandeis scored twice in the top of the first in game one, but those were the only runs they would get against Tufts starter Izzie Santone (Madison, Conn.). First year pitcher Melissa Nolan (Windsor, Conn./Loomis Chaffee) hit an RBI single for Brandeis, and the second run scored unearned on a Tufts error.

Cantone and Clair erased the deficit quickly in the bottom of the first. Junior CF Lizzy Iuppa (Paramus, N.J.) set the table with an infield single, stole second and moved to third on a passed ball. She scored on a single by Cantone, who would then waltz home on a two-run bomb by Clair into the trees out beyond the left field fence.

After allowing three Brandeis hits in the first, Santone protected the Tufts lead superbly by allowing only three more hits in the next six innings. She walked just one and struck out five in seven innings while improving to 7-2 on the season.

Meanwhile, the Jumbo offense added to the lead with runs in the third, fourth and sixth. Cantone had RBI doubles in the third and fourth. Clair hit a two-run single to left in the sixth. She finished 2 for 3 with four RBI and a run scored, while Cantone was 3 for 3 with three RBI  and two runs. Iuppa was 2 for 3 with three runs at the top of the Jumbo order. Clair's home run was her 11th, tying for the second-most in a single-season at Tufts.

Junior RF Samantha Gajewski (Elkridge, Md./Long Reach) had two of the Judges' six hits. Nolan took the loss in the pitcher's circle, allowing nine hits and eight runs while striking out three and walking seven in six innings.

Brandeis again jumped in front early in game two, this time taking a 3-0 advantage on a line drive home run by Kelley in the top of the first. That would be more than enough for Ducinski, who allowed just two Tufts batters to touch second base. She struck out five and induced 14 ground-ball outs while improving to 7-2 on the year.

The Judges added a run in the fourth when first year 2B Leah McWilliams (Billerica, Mass./Billerica Memorial) led off with a walk and scored on a gap double to right-center by senior CF Carly Schmand (Bethesda, Md./Walt Whitman).

Brandeis had just four hits in game two as well, but they earned eight walks and scored on three. Sophomore Aly Moskowitz (Westfield, N.J.) took the loss for Tufts, which got 3.2 innings of one-hit, no-run relief from sophomore Rebecca DiBiase (Wellesley, Mass.).

Tufts (13-10) plays a double-header at Babson College tomorrow beginning at 3 p.m.. Brandeis (14-15) is at Wheaton for two on Wednesday at 3:30 pm.