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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

Softball measures up to Clark 1-1 for the weekend; reaches 20 game win mark

Published: April 26, 2013
Section: Featured, Sports

The softball team faced Clark University in a doubleheader at home last Saturday, and went 1-1 against the Cougars. With this victory, the Judges have reached their 20th win of the season for the eighth year in a row. Brandeis now holds a record of 20-11, while the Cougars stand at 13-15.

When asked how she felt about accomplishing 20 wins thus far, Coach Johnson was quick to downplay the accomplishment.

“I think the 20-win mark is given more respect than it deserves, but I think it coincides with the fact that most programs schedule 40 games so achieving 20 wins means you’ll at least finish .500. We schedule 48 games, however, so we don’t make too big of a deal of reaching 20,” Johnson said.

The Judges fell in the opener on Saturday with a score of 9-7, but fought hard to come back in the second game and managed a 3-2 win.

Clark had a quick start in the opener, nailing four runs in the first inning, with Casey Ducinski ’13 pitching for the Judges. Two of the big hits were back-to-back doubles, and the first run was scored off of a throwing error by left field.

Brandeis recorded their first run in the bottom of the second inning. To start the play, shortstop Anya Kamber ’15 singled to right field. Advancing to second off a walk for the Judges, Kamber scored when second baseman Leah McWilliams ’14 reached first off an error.

The next score for the Cougars game in the fourth inning when a player for the Cougars scored off a single RBI.

However, in the sixth inning, both teams saw a lot of hitting action. The Cougars started with a score off a single, to left while the Judges managed to add three runs in the sixth. Ducinski stuck a double with 2 RBIs that sent right fielder Madison Sullivan ’16 and Kamber to home. The third run came when Danielle Novotny ’16 grounded out to second base and sent McWilliams home to tighten the score to 6-4.

The seventh inning also saw a lot of action. Both teams managed to record three runs each, two of the Cougars’ hits were off single RBIs. The highlight of the game came when two Brandeis players, Sullivan and center fielder Cori Coleman ’15, both nailed homers that secured three runs for the Judges. Coleman’s 2 RBI hit to center field also sent first baseman Melissa Nolan ’14 home.

Though the Judges managed to stay in close range of the Cougars, they never seemed to gain momentum early on in the game to get the lead. Coach Johnson attributed the loss to a “lack of acuity. Physically, the skills set was there but we just didn’t show up focused or ready to play a club that is much more competitive than their record would indicate,” she said.

In the nightcap, the Judges managed to counter their loss with a tight 3-2 win. This time on the mound, Nolan stepped up to pitch for the Judges.

Clark scored the first run again off a single RBI in the top of third inning. The Judges responded with a run when sophomore center fielder Amanda Genovese ’14, after stealing second, advanced to home off of a double RBI by Novotny.

Brandeis took the lead with a score of 2-1 in the bottom of the fifth inning when a single struck by Kamber sent Genovese home for her second run of the day. Clark answered with a run at the top of the sixth of a fielding error and RBI to tie up the score 2-2.

Finally, at the bottom of the seventh inning, a single up the center by Sullivan caused Nolan, already on base, to advance to third and score off an error, making the final score 3-2.

Nolan had an impressive performance on the mound, recording a team-best 8-2 with a four-hitter, her sixth start in which she only gave up four hits or less. She managed to strike out seven Cougar players, her second best of the season, and walked three.

Though the Judges have a better overall record than the Cougars who are 13-15, Johnson pointed out that it is dangerous to undermine the Clark team.

“Clark plays in a very competitive conference and we have them on our schedule because we know we’re going to have to play quality ball to win and we didn’t do that in the first game,” she said.

The Judges have managed to win at least one of the games in all of the double headers throughout the month of April. Their steady pace and consistency is just what Coach Johnson says the team needs to make a run at achieving their goal for the season.

“We hope to continue to keep improving, finish solidly with the rest of our regular schedule which will be very demanding, make a run at a post-season championship, and give next year’s returning players some feedback to use over the summer to build into next year,” she said.