6-2 victory over Salve secures third 20-win season in Brandeis softball history

WALTHAM, Mass. – Two Brandeis University pitchers combined to toss a four-hitter today and the Judges hit a pair of third-inning home runs as the Judges defeated Salve Regina University, 6-2, to secure just the third 20-win season in program history.

Brandeis (20-23), which won seven of its last nine games to make it to the 20-win mark, also reached the plateau in 1999, when they won a school record 29 games, and in 1995, when they also won 20.

Senior Bri Smith (Tewksbury, Mass.) tossed a perfect first inning in her final regular-season home game before giving way to sophomore Kaitlin Streilein (Point Pleasant, N.J.), who went the rest of the way. Streilein gave up four hits and two runs (one earned) while walking three and striking out three. She improved to 11-9 with the victory.

Offensively, the big inning for the Judges was the second, when sophomore RF Natalie Volpe (Southington, Conn.) and senior SS Mari Levine (Hopkinton, Mass.) each went deep for the third time this season. They were both solo shots, putting the Judges ahead, 3-0. Brandeis had taken a 1-0 lead in the first on a two-out RBI single by Smith that plated the team's third senior, LF Elissa Glucksman (Stamford, Conn.).

Salve Regina (8-25) got on the board in the fourth inning on an RBI double by rookie 3B Katie Viera (Dartmouth, Mass.). It was the Seahawks' only extra-base hit of the game. Brandeis tacked on three more insurance runs on five hits in the sixth before SRU scored an unearned run in the seventh on an RBI by rookie CF Caitlin Poplawski (New Britain, Conn.)

Volpe was the big hitter for the Judges, going 2-3 with two RBI and the home run. Rookie 3B Samantha Worth (Londonderry, N.H.) was 1-2 with a double, while Levine's round-tripper was the team's only other extra-base hit.

Viera was SRU's only multiple hitter on the game. She was responsible for both Seahawk runs, going 2-2 with a double, an RBI and a run scored. Sophomore Alison Hanson (E. Hampton, N.Y.) was 1-3 with a stolen base and a run scored as well.