Last Updated May 14 at 10:16 a.m.
MEDFORD, Mass. – The Eastern Connecticut State University softball team is heading for the 2019 NCAA Division III Softball Championship Tournament Super Regional after claiming the regional championship with today's 5-1 triumph over host Tufts University. The Warrior will host 24th-ranked Rowan University in the super regional starting Friday with a single game starting at 2 p.m. The best-of-three series will continue Saturday starting at noon.
Sticking to the script which brought it a conference championship and to the bring of a regional title, the Eastern Connecticut State University softball team utilized dominant pitching, near-perfect defense and sufficient hitting once again to vanquish top-seeded and host Tufts University, 5-1, to claim its 14th NCAA Division III regional championship Monday morning at Spicer Field.
One victory shy of annexing its first regional title in eight years, third-seeded Eastern (32-11) had to wait a day after rain wiped out Sunday's scheduled championship game to become the Medford, MA Regional titlist. Needing to beat the unbeaten Warriors twice to win the title, Tufts (32-10) commited two errors in the bottom of the first inning that led to three Eastern runs, and the Warriors piled on two more in the third to build what proved to be an insurmountable 5-1 lead.
With the game in her hands, sophomore righty and tournament MVP Morgan Bolduk (Vernon) held firm, and the defense behind her made the final four innings all but academic as the Warriors won for the second time in the tournament over Tufts.
Bolduk (18-1) went the distance in all seven post-season tournament games – throwing back-to-back four-hitters against Tufts on either side of a rain date -- en route to a pair of MVP awards, and Eastern outscored its opponents, 33-4. In Saturday's winner's bracket, Bolduk spun her fifth post-season shutout.
Sixteen teams remain in the tournament. Eastern moves into one eight of best-of-three Super Regional tournaments scheduled for this weekend. The Warriors will play the winner of the Cambridge, Mass. Regional – either MIT or Rowan University. The eight Super Regional survivors compete in the NCAA Division III national tournament May 23-28 at the University of Texas at Tyler.