Tufts wins second consecutive national title with 6-0 victory vs. Salisbury
TYLER, Texas -- Junior Allyson Fournier pitched a six-hit shutout and sophomore SS Christina Raso drove home three runs as Tufts won its second consecutive NCAA championship with a 6-0 victory against Salisbury.
The Jumbos (47-4) become the first NCAA Division III softball team to win back-to-back titles since St. Thomas (Minn.) did it in 2004-05. In the best two-out-of-three series to determine the 2014 NCAA champion, head coach Cheryl Milligan's Jumbos had lost 2-1 in Game 1 on Monday. However, they rallied to win two consecutive to capture the title including a dramatic 14-inning, 6-0 victory in Game 2 on Monday.
"It's amazing," Milligan said. "We lost [Monday] and it had been a long time since our last loss. We didn't feel too hot, but we pulled Game 2 out in the wee hours [Monday] night. Then to come back [Tuesday] on fire, really ready to go is a testament to this team's spirit and their drive and how hard they worked for this."
|DIII SOFTBALL CHAMPIONSHIP|
|Championship Recap Photo Gallery|
|Game 17: Tufts captures national championship crown|
|Game 16: Tufts forces decisive third game|
|Game 15: Salisbury takes first game from Tufts|
|Day 4 Recap|
|Game 12: Tufts blanks Wis.-Whitewater to advance|
|Game 11: Salisbury reaches championship series|
|Day 3 Recap|
|Game 10: UW-Whitewater beats East Texas Baptist|
|Game 9: St. Thomas (Minn.) wins another elimination game|
|Day 2 Recap|
|Game 8: Tufts defeats Montclair State 5-2|
|Game 7: Salisbury blanks Wisconsin-Whitewater|
|Game 6: ETBU unleashes 11 runs|
|Game 5: St. Thomas (Minn.) slams Rochester (N.Y.)|
|Day 1 Recap|
|Game 4: Montclair State edges Trine|
|Game 3: Tufts knocks off East Texas Baptist|
|Game 2: Salisbury shuts out St. Thomas (Minn.)|
|Game 1: UW-Whitewater rallies past Rochester (N.Y.)|
|How they got here: Super Regional Results|
|Brackets: Interactive Printable|
"Whenever I get the ball I just go out there and do the best that I can, try to get every batter and take it pitch by pitch," Fournier said. "It's just an honor to be able to play at this stage against such great competition, but to win two years in a row is an unreal feeling."
Raso, the NESCAC defensive player of the year, led with her bat in the championship game by driving home runs in two separate innings as the Jumbos built their lead. Senior LF Sara Hedtler also concluded an excellent series by going 2-for-4 with an RBI in Tuesday's game. Junior CF Michelle Cooprider scored twice while finishing the game 3-for-4.
The win gave the 2014 Tufts team a school record for victories in a season with 47. Tufts was making its third consecutive appearance in the NCAA finals. They won the title in Eau Claire, Wisconsin, last season with a 6-5 win against Cortland State. With their 5-1 record in Texas since Thursday to win the title, Tufts now has 47-25 all-time record in NCAA play.
This was their 14th NCAA appearance overall. They became the seventh NCAA Division III program to win multiple NCAA titles, and the second from New England. They are just the third team to win back-to-back titles.