HAVERFORD, Pa. - The Haverford College softball team qualified for the playoffs on the final day of the Centennial Conference regular season by powering its way past visiting Gettysburg College, 6-1, in the opening game of a doubleheader on Saturday afternoon at Class of '95 Field. The Fords finished off the twinbill sweep of the Bullets with a 10-2 five-inning win in Game 2.
Needing one win to clinch a playoff spot, the Fords (23-11, 10-6 CC) relied strictly on the long ball to get past Gettysburg (17-21, 7-9) as three different players sent balls over the outfield fence. Freshman Kristin Tatum nailed a three-run home run in the second, Jen DiCandilo added a solo shot in the third and Dayle Comerford capped things off with a two-run blast in the fifth.
Tying the conference mark for home runs in a season by a freshman, Tatum established a new program single-season record for home runs with her seventh of the year.
DiCandilo moved within one of tying the program mark for home runs in a career with her 11th while Comerford rose into a tie for third on the all-time program list with her eighth. Matching the program record of three home runs in one game, the squad has now combined for a program-record 23 home runs in the 2013 campaign.
Freshman Sara Tauriello (9-2) earned the win by limiting the Bullets to five hits and striking out seven over five innings of work. Classmate Emily Winesett continued to silence Gettysburg as she closed out the contest with three strikeouts in the final two innings.
The victory over the Bullets in Game 1 (box score) clinched a spot in the Centennial playoffs for Haverford for the first time since 2009.
The nightcap saw the Fords explode for 10 runs on 15 hits. DiCandilo and Elizabeth Newman each went 4-for-4 as the Fords jumped out to a 6-2 lead after two innings and never looked back.
Stephanie Wolfson got Haverford started in the first with an RBI-double that drove home Sarah Brody. After Gettysburg rallied to take a 2-1 lead in the bottom of the second, the Fords tacked on five more runs on five hits in the bottom of the frame. Newman, DiCandilo and Comerford provided the RBI-hits to give Haverford a lead it would not relinquish.
The Fords chased starting pitcher Lindsey Treanor (2-7) with their five-run outburst and Game 1 starter Taylor Snyder (5-9) kept Haverford quiet over the next two frames in relief. It was just a matter of time, however, until the Fords high-powered offense, ranked second in the conference in batting average and runs scored, did more damage.
Closing out the five-inning contest, Haverford hung four more runs on the board on the strength of three hits including DiCandilo's two-run double to left field. DiCandilo registered four RBIs in Game 2 to finish with five on the day.
Claire Fitzgerald (5-2) scattered six hits in three innings to pick up the 16th victory of her career.
The Fords return to action on Tuesday with a single non-conference contest against Arcadia University at 4 p.m. before turning their attention to next weekend's conference tournament. Seeded third, the Fords will open play against defending champion McDaniel College in the first round of the double-elimination tournament hosted by top seed Muhlenberg College.