Levine homer earns softball a split with Bates

WALTHAM, Mass. – Brandeis University senior shortstop Mari Levine (Hopkinton, Mass.) hit her second career home run in the bottom of the sixth inning of game two of a doubleheader today, giving the Judges a 4-2 victory over visiting Bates College and salvaging a split of the twinbill. The Bobcats won game one, 4-0, behind junior pitcher Kristin Masino's (No. Arlington, N.J.) one-hitter.

Brandeis (5-8) fell behind, 1-0, in the first inning of game two, but sophomore RF Natalie Volpe (Southington, Conn.) connected for her first career round-tripper in the fifth inning to tie the contest.

Bates (4-4) got the run right back in the top of the sixth as senior 1B Kyla DeCato (Paris, Maine) plated junior CF Katie Franklin (New Preston, Conn.), who had singled and stole second.

In the bottom of the Judges' sixth, senior 3B Elissa Glucksman (Stamford, Conn.) walked and got bunted to second. A single by sophomore pitcher Kaitlin Streilein (Point Pleasant, N.J.) and a passed ball put runners on second and third with one away. Senior 1B Bri Smith (Tewksbury, Mass.) hit a deep sacrifice fly to left field to knot the game at 2-2 before Levine's blast to deep centerfield put the Judges ahead, 4-2.

Streilein struck out a career-high 11 batters to improve to 4-3 on the season. She was also the second game's only multiple hitter, going 2-3 with a run scored. Bates rookie Christina Knobel (Walpole, Mass.) suffered the loss in relief to fall to 1-1. Junior SS Caitlin Murphy had the Bobcats' only extra-base hit, a triple in the first that produced the game's first run.

Massino was the story of the opener, allowing just one hit in seven strong innings of work. She struck out eight and walked one. The Judges threatened just once, in the fourth inning. With two outs, Smith singled and Levine reached on an error to put runners on the corners, but Massino got a come-backer to the circle to get out unscathed.

All four of the Bobcats' runs off of Volpe in the opener were unearned. The only run they would need came on the third inning wild pitch that allowed rookie 3B Val Beckwith (Woburn, Mass.) to score. Beckwith had the game's top offensive performance, going 2-3 with two runs scored and an RBI double in the seventh inning that helped ice the game.