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Softball team begins season

Published: March 16, 2007
Section: Sports


After an off season spent wading through the controversy that was Coach Sullivans dismissal, Brandeis softball entered a new era under former Mount Ida softball coach Jessica Johnson and as of this printing, the Judges have a ways to go as they split their double header with a 5-1 win over Case Western followed with being demolished by Emory 2-12.

In their win against Case, Natalie Volpe 08 and rookie Allie Mussen 10 combined to pitch a four hitter while rookie shortstop Chelsea Korp went 2-3 with a pair of runs batted in. All their runs came in the second inning thanks to a two run homer by Danielle Mayer 08 and the rest of the scoring was aided with three fielding errors by Case-Western. Mayers home run was the teams only extra base hit.

They could not sustain the momentum though and were thoroughly outplayed against Emory. The Eagles scored early and often as they piled on three runs in the first inning, three more in the third, two in the fourth and then exploded for four more runs in the fifth where the game was called due to the 10 run mercy rule.

Kaitlin Streilein 08 took the loss, giving up eight runs on 10 hits, all earned and four walks. Emily Vaillette 10 fared little better, giving up four runs on four hits in just 1.1 innings of work. Four Emory hitters had at least two hits to their credit. The Judges lone offensive contribution came in the fourth inning, thanks to a walk, a Natalie Volpe double, an RBI single by Streilein and a wild pitch which cut the lead at the time to 8-2. Brandeis also had four errors in the field.

The loss to Emory snapped a small winning streak for the Judges that started with a 5-2 win over Rochester back on March 14. Chelsea Korp 10, Volpe, Mayer, and Mussin each had two hits with Volpe scoring two runs. Streilein went 4.1 innings giving up two runs on three hits while Vaillette finished up with 2.2 innings of shut out ball to pick up the win.

Prior to Emory, the season started inauspiciously for the Johnsons Judges as they were swept on their March 13 opening double-header: bowing 1-6 to Emory and 5-6 to Washington University. Mayers home run in the second was the lone bright spot in the opening game as Emory scored five runs in the first three innings off Streilein who threw a complete game. They managed to rally against Washington University as they jumped to a 5-2 lead only to watch it slip away. Brandeis was able to take the lead thanks to a four run third inning due to an RBI single by Volpe and doubles from Streilein and Mayer. Washington tied it up though in the fifth inning thanks to a two run triple and a pinch single and pushed the winning run across in the sixth inning as Brandeis could only muster one hit in the last four innings. Volpe threw for one inning, giving two runs before ceding the mound to Vaillette who went four innings giving up three runs on five hits and Mussen finished up surrendering one run on four hits in two innings.

The loss drops Brandeis to 2-3 on the season with three UAA games left this season. Brandeis takes on Washington and Rochester today in a double header that comes too late for print edition to contain the results. The Judges then close out their Florida swing and UAA Conference game against Case-Western on March 17. After a fall and winter of much discontent, the Judges come home on March 21 to take on Simmons College in and MIT the next day.