Volpe tosses two-hit shutout against Simmons

WALTHAM, Mass. – Sophomore hurler Natalie Volpe (Southington, Conn.) allowed just two hits over seven innings of work and tied a career-high with 10 strikeouts today as the Brandeis University softball team shutout Simmons College, 7-0, on Marcus Field.

Brandeis (7-8) won for the fourth time in five games up north. The Judges got all the runs they would need in the second inning on an RBI single by junior 3B Christina McWilliams (Billerica, Mass.) and a fielder's choice by junior C Caitlin Lukacs (Sodus Point, N.Y.). They broke the contest wide open in the sixth inning, scoring five runs. One big blow came off the bat of senior SS Mari Levine (Hopkinton, Mass.), a drive to left field with two runners on that was misplayed, allowing both to score. McWilliams added an RBI double in the frame and sophomore Kaitlin Streilein (Point Pleasant, N.J.) drove in a run as a pinch hitter.

Simmons (8-9) didn't get a hit until the fifth inning, when junior RF Danielle O'Neill (Providence, R.I.) singled to lead off the frame, but pinch-runner Kelsey Hasick (Ann Arbor, Mich.) was caught stealing, so Volpe faced the minimum number of batters until the seventh, when the Sharks put runners on first and second after an error and their second hit, from junior CF Megan Conlin (Merrimac, Mass.). Volpe induced three straight grounders back to the circle to close out the game.

Brandeis travels to Lasell College tomorrow for a 3:00 p.m. start, while Simmons hosts Pine Manor College at 4:00 p.m. on Friday.