March 21, 2013

Tatum's two grand slams propel Fords past Eastern, 12-1

HAVERFORD, Pa. - Kristin Tatum blasted two grand slams to lift the Haverford College softball team to a 12-1 victory over Eastern University on Wednesday afternoon in a five-inning non-conference contest at Class of '95 Field. The Fords fell 3-0 to the Eagles in the opener of the doubleheader.

Driving in a season-best eight runs, Tatum has made an immediate impact on the Haverford lineup as the freshman already has six home runs in just 13 games played.

Looking for a split of the twinbill, the Fords (10-4) jumped out to a 6-0 lead in the second game of the day with six runs in the first. Elizabeth Newman got things going with a lead-off walk and Julie Garlick and Jen DiCandilo followed with consecutive singles. Tatum, boasting a .963 slugging percentage coming into the day's contests, did not miss out on the opportunity to come to the plate with the bases full as she sent a Paula Redmon (0-1) offering over the center field fence.

After Tatum's blast broke the game open, the Haverford hit parade continued as Lauren Touey nailed a double to left center that scored Dayle Comerford, who was on with a single. Gabrielle Sapienza made sure Touey was not left on the basepaths for long as she drilled another double down the left field line.

Comerford registered a double of her own in the second to bring home DiCandilo and push the Fords' advantage to 7-0.

Tatum extinguished all thoughts of an Eastern rally in the third when she smoked another one over the outfield fence in left as part of a five-run inning for Haverford.

The Eagles (4-6) got on the scoreboard with a run in the fourth but they would get no closer as Claire Fitzgerald (2-2) and Sara Tauriello combined to quiet the Eastern bats over the remainder of the contest. Fitzgerald struck out four and surrendered just four hits over four innings of work while Tauriello struck out the side in the fifth.

Notching two home runs in a game for the second time this season, Tatum once again tied the program's single-game record for home runs in a game. The freshman also matched the single-season mark of six with over 20 games remaining on the schedule.

Ranked 22nd in the National Fastpitch Coaches Association's current poll, the Fords fell 3-0 in the initial contest of the day despite a nine-strikeout performance from Emily Winesett (5-2). After the Eagles scored three runs on three hits in the top of the sixth, Haverford aimed for its sixth come-from-behind victory of 2013. Comerford and DiCandilo occupied first and second, respectively, with Tatum coming to the plate in the bottom of the sixth but a game-tying bid came up short as Jessica Baker made the catch in deep center field. 

Touey finished with two of the Fords' three hits in the opener.

Haverford returns to action next Thursday, March 28, when it opens Centennial Conference play with a visit to Washington College. The doubleheader against the Shorewomen begins at 3 p.m.