WILLIAMSTOWN, MA — Erica County scattered seven hits Saturdayvand Raven Fournier homered as the Tufts University softball team eliminated Amherst from the 2016 NESCAC Tournament via a 3-1 score.
Tufts, 27-9, advances to the championship of the tourney where it will need to defeat host Williams twice in order to win a fifth straight conference title. Earlier Saturday, Williams defeated Tufts 17-4 in a five-inning game.
The first game Sunday will start at 1 p.m.
Tufts jumped out to a 2-0 lead with a pair of runs in the second inning against Amherst and starter Lauren Tuiskula. Summer Horowitz led off the frame with a single to center and Fournier walked. After an out, Sara Willner-Giwerc beat out a bunt single to load the bases. Carrie Copacino then ripped an RBI-single through the left-side of the infield for a 1-0 lead. A two-out error allowed the second run to score.
Amherst responded with a run in its half of the second off of County. Brianna Cook, Tuiskula and Bailey Plaman had consecutive singles to load the bases. Julia Turner's grounder was then misplayed, allowing Cook to score and make it 2-1.
Fournier got the two-run cushion back for the Purple & White in the top of the third when, with two outs, she connected for a solo home run to center that made it 3-1 Amherst.
County improved to 18-4, giving up the seven hits without walking a batter and striking otu seven. Tuiskula took the loss, allowing seven hits while walking four and fanning one.
Sammy Salustri went 2 for 4 for the Purpke & White. Copacino went 2 for 3 withan RBI for Tufts.