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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

Softball finishes first month of season at 15-4-1

Published: April 9, 2010
Section: Sports

The Brandeis softball team had to wait a week and a half to get back into action after its doubleheader March 27, but its results were the same on both sides of the break. The Judges swept Salem State in March and then took two games against WPI April 7, completing their first month of competition with a 15-4-1 record.

In the first game at Salem, the Judges required only seven hits to score seven runs against the Vikings. The first three innings promised a pitcher’s duel, as the two teams combined for only one hit while remaining scoreless. Brandeis broke the game open in the fourth, however, when Erin Ross’ single scored Stacy Berg ’13. By the time the inning was over, three more runs were on the board, with the key play coming on a two-RBI single from Chelsea Korp ’10.

The remaining runs came in the sixth inning. Two scored off the bat of Marianne Specker ’12, while one came from a balk from Salem State.

Meanwhile, Emily Vaillette ’10 hurled an absolute gem of a ballgame, shutting out the Vikings on only two hits to earn the win. Kristen Lojko suffered the loss, allowing four earned runs in 3 2/3 innings. Korp’s two hits in four at bats paced the Brandeis offense.

The late game started completely differently. After the Judges went down 1-2-3 in the first frame, the Salem State slugfest was underway. By the time Brandeis recorded their second out, they were already facing a 5-0 deficit and starting pitcher Allie Mussen ’10 had been chased out of the game. Caroline Miller ’12 came to the rescue; she pitched the next 5 2/3 innings without allowing another run, and Vaillette finished the game with a scoreless seventh inning.

Brandeis began chipping away at the deficit immediately. Specker led the charge with a two-RBI double as part of a four-run second inning. They would wait until the fifth inning to tie the game, when Brittany Grimm ’12 tripled and scored on an error. They wouldn’t take the lead until the seventh; however, they would make it worth the wait, plating five to wrap up a 10-5 victory. Miller got the win, Katleynn Fanning of Salem State got the loss, and Brittany Grimm ’12 and Korp each legged out three hits.

On Wednesday, the Judges showed that they weren’t going to lose momentum. Berg pounded a two-run homer in the first inning, and Brandeis never looked back. The Judges added another two runs in the second, three in the fourth, and three in the sixth and final innings to win 10-1 against the WPI Engineers.

Berg had four RBIs, and three other Judges smacked at least two hits. Emily Vaillette was just as spectacular; in five innings of work, she struck out seven and gave up only two hits and one run to get the win. Erin Flaherty pitched the entire game for WPI and got the loss.

It took even less time for Brandeis to get the win in the later game. Only five innings of play were required before the game ended with a score of 12-4. Brandeis was only held off the board in the third inning.

Again, Berg was the star, stuffing her stat line with three hits, three runs and three RBI’s in four at bats; Courtney Kelley ’11 also picked up three RBI’s. Miller pitched the entire game, earning the win after surrendering three hits and three earned runs. Christa Coscia was the only pitcher for WPI, and her decidedly different result was due in part to her disappointing defense; only two of her twelve runs allowed were earned.

On the season, Berg has hit .403, and her 29 RBI’s and six home runs lead the team. Grimm is the team’s batting average leader, hitting .515, in addition to her 61 total bases and a .897 slugging percentage. Vaillette is now 8-3 with a 1.56 ERA and 45 strikeouts. Brandeis has a 5-3 conference record, and their season continues on Saturday with a home doubleheader against Clark. Then they move onto Bowdoin for a doubleheader Sunday before returning home for a doubleheader against Wheaton Wednesday.