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Softball goes 1-2 over weekend as season winds down

Published: April 27, 2012
Section: Sports


This past weekend the Judges faced Clark and Tufts in a day-night doubleheader. The Judges split their doubleheader with Clark before losing to Tufts. The team is now 19-14 (3-5 UAA) on the season.

The first game of the doubleheader was a classic pitchers’ duel. Starting pitcher Caroline Miller ’12 gave up just one hit while striking out seven and her Clark counterpart Nicole Meuse gave up only two hits while striking out four.

Neither team managed a hit until the fifth inning when outfielder Lauren Porcaro ’12 led off with a double. Meuse settled down, however, and retired the next three batters to get out of the inning unscathed. Clark’s only hit of the game came in the sixth inning when junior Mel Melkonian doubled into left field, but Miller retired the next two batters to get out of trouble.

Miller ran into trouble in the ninth inning. Sophomore Shawna Amatucci drew a leadoff walk and rookie Molly Clark immediately came on as a pinch runner. Senior Stefanie Kettenacker sacrificed Clark over to second base and then Miller lost control. Miller issued another walk to senior Maureen Coakley to put runners on first and second. Facing sophomore pinch hitter Heather Figula, Miller threw a wild pitch, letting the runners advance to second and third and then threw another wild pitch that allowed the winning run to score from third as Brandeis fell 1-0.

The second game of the double-header featured much more offense. In the first inning of play, Porcaro blasted a grand slam to put Brandeis on top 4-0 and the Judges never looked back going on to win the game easily. Clark scored single runs in the second and third innings on a home run from sophomore Tatiana Chunis and an RBI double from Melkonian respectively. The Judges got the two runs back in the fourth inning on a two-run double from Brittany Grimm ’12.

Clark scored another run in the bottom half of the fourth inning and Brandeis scored two more runs in the sixth inning as the Judges won 8-3.

The following day, the Judges returned home to face ninth-ranked Tufts University. Brandeis got 10 hits from nine different players but was ultimately unable to recover from an early six-run deficit.

Sophomore catcher Jo Clair was the offensive star for Tufts, going 3-of-4 with three RBIs and two runs scored. Clair blew the game wide open in the top of the fourth when she blasted a three-run shot to put Tufts on top 6-0.

Brandeis refused to go down without a fight, scoring a run in the bottom of the fourth. Porcaro singled to shortstop with one out and then Anya Kamber ’15 singled to left field. The Tufts outfielder misplayed the ball allowing Porcaro to score from first base.

Unfortunately, Tufts added two unearned runs in the top of the fifth inning, loading the bases on an error, a single and a walk. Then Tufts scored on two consecutive wild pitches by relief pitcher Melissa Nolan ’14 to go ahead 8-1.

In the bottom of the fifth inning, Brandeis got its first sustained offensive pressure of the afternoon as they scored three runs. The Judges loaded the bases on two walks and a single from Grimm. Then Marianne Specker ’12 drilled a two-run double to left field. With the two RBIs, Specker now has 105 in her career, moving her into the top-five in program history. A wild pitch from Tufts pitcher Rebecca DiBiase allowed Grimm to score and moved pinch runner Mimi Theodore ’12 into scoring position. A sensational defensive play from Tufts centerfielder Lizzy Iuppa, however, prevented several runs from scoring and kept Tufts ahead 8-4.

After holding off Brandeis’ offensive onslaught, Tufts scored two more runs in the top of the sixth on an error and an RBI single to ice the game. Brandeis scored another run in the seventh inning but it was ultimately meaningless as they fell to Tufts 10-5.