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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

Softball starts off 2-1 at UAA tournament

Published: March 16, 2012
Section: Sports

After being shut out 8-0 in its season opener Tuesday against Emory, the Brandeis women’s softball team swept a double-header against Rochester and Case Western Wednesday by scores of 2-1 and 7-5. All three games were part of the University Athletic Association (UAA) tournament, which is being held in Altamonte Springs, Fla.

In the season opener, the Judges were at a disadvantage, facing a team who had already played 19 games this season. Emory, the fourth-ranked team in the nation, held a record of 18-1 going into their matchup with the Judges.

Emory jumped on the Judges quickly, scoring four runs in the bottom of the first inning, including a two-run homer by first baseman Megan Light. The Eagles went on to score four more runs in the fifth, all of their runs coming in just two innings. Because there is an eight-run cap, the game was called after five innings.

The Judges had only two hits all day—singles by Marianne Specker ’12 and Melissa Nolan ’14. Pitcher Caroline Miller ’12 was the losing pitcher, going three innings while giving up four runs on seven hits. Pitcher Lena Brotman earned the shutout for the Eagles, striking out seven batters while improving to 6-0 on the season.

Looking to bounce back from the tough loss, the Judges faced Rochester and Case Western in a double header Wednesday.

In the opener, the combined three runs scored by both teams all came in the first inning, in what was a close pitcher’s duel. After the Yellowjackets scored on a single in the top half of the inning, the Judges responded with two runs. Specker hit a single, Nolan reached on an error, and third baseman Anya Kamber ’15 hit an RBI double, which was her first career hit with Brandeis. Centerfielder Lauren Porcaro ’12 then hit the go-ahead single, which would wind up being the game-winner.

Both pitchers performed extremely well for the remainder of the game. Miller, pitching again, allowed only one hit while walking three during the next five innings. For Rochester, Madeiline Skellie retired 13 straight batters after Porcaro’s go-ahead single, while striking out six for the game.

The Yellowjackets had a great opportunity to tie the game in the seventh inning, loading the bases with just one out. Miller then induced a groundball that resulted in a force-out at home, and ended the game by forcing a pop foul to third base.

The Judges hit much better in the second game, scoring seven runs on 11 hits, five of which went for extra bases. The Spartans jumped to an early lead, scoring twice in the bottom of the first.

The Judges then took the lead, scoring three runs in the third inning, including a solo homerun by Brittany Grimm ’12. It was the eighth homer of her career and her first of the 2012 season.

After the Spartans tied up the game at three in the bottom of the third, the Judges went on to take the lead in the fifth inning, scoring four runs on four hits, and benefiting from three errors committed by the Spartans.

Even down 7-3 heading into the bottom of the seventh, the Spartans did not give up, making a good run at a comeback, but falling short. After scoring two runs to make it 7-5, the Spartans put the tying run on second with two outs. Miller came in from the bullpen and struck out the final batter to earn her second career save.

Grimm was certainly the offensive player of the game, going 3-for-4 with a homerun and two RBI, two stolen bases, and two runs scored. Specker extended her hitting streak to 16 games, which dates back to last season.