Softball splits with Clark, 1-7 and 3-2

WALTHAM, Mass. – Brandeis University sophomore pitcher Natalie Volpe (Southington, Conn.) scattered six hits and struck out seven in the second game of a doubleheader today as the Judges earned a split with the visiting Clark University Cougars. Clark had 10 hits, including a pair of home runs in a 7-1 win in the opener, while Brandeis won game two by a 3-2 decision.

Brandeis (12-15) opened up a 3-0 lead in the second game thanks to single runs in three straight innings. Junior LF Marissa Rubin (Teaneck, N.J.) came home on a passed ball in the third inning. In the fourth, senior SS Bri Smith (Tewksbury, Mass.) doubled to lead off the frame and scored on senior catcher Mari Levine's (Hopkinton, Mass.) single through the left side. Smith came home as Levine purposely got caught in a rundown between second and third.

Rubin came home again in the fifth, scoring on a double by sophomore 1B Kaitlin Streilein (Point Pleasant, N.J.). The Judges loaded the bases in the fifth, but couldn't add any more to the lead.

Clark (7-12) was held to just four hits through the first six innings, but the Cougars almost rallied in the seventh, leading off with a single and an error. A wild pitch on a third strike advanced the runners to second and third with one away. An infield grounder by junior catcher Lauren Ackein (Tacoma, Wash.) brought home the first run and a single up the middle by senior pitcher Kelly Christensen (Jefferson, Mass.) cut the lead to 3-2, but Volpe left her at first to end the game.

Rubin was the big hitter in the second game, going 3-3 and scoring two of the squad's three runs. Volpe, who went 2-3 at the plate, allowed just the two unearned runs in improving to 4-8 on the campaign.

In the opener, all nine Cougar hitters had at least one hit, with sophomore hurler Heather Warren (Upland, Calif.) wielding the big stick. Warren went 2-4 with three RBI and two runs scored, including her third home run of the season, a two-run shot in the three-run fourth.

Clark also put up a three-spot in the third inning, as Warren plated Ackein, who doubled to lead off the inning, to tie the contest at 1-1. With runners at second and third after Warren stole second, the Cougars got back-to-back RBI ground outs from graduate student 1B Jackie DeMore (Essex, Mass.) and junior RF Kaitlin Kelley (Guilford, Conn.). The final Clark run came in the seventh when sophomore CF Julie Parnell (Webster, Mass.) went yard for the second time this season.

Brandeis got its only run in the first inning, when Smith, who went 3-3 in the opener, plated senior LF Elissa Glucksman (Stamford, Conn.).

In addition to her hitting prowess, Warren improved to 6-5 on the season by scattering five hits over seven innings. She struck out six and walked just two. Brandeis's Streilein fell to 8-5, going the distance and giving up 10 hits and seven runs (all earned). She walked four and struck out four.
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