May 1, 2007

Softball drops two in regular-season finale at Babson, 3-0 & 2-1

BABSON PARK, Mass. -- In what could possibly be their final trip through the lineup for the Babson College softball team, senior tri-captains Darcy Lantz, Andrea Cartullo, and Alex produced the game-winning run to help the Beavers cap off a doubleheader sweep of visiting Brandeis University on Tuesday afternoon. In the process, the trio made a winner out of fellow senior Stacy Schlicht, who tossed a four-hit gem on the mound as Babson won game two, 2-1. The Beavers also took the opener by a count of 3-0.

With the sweep, Babson improved its record to 27-16-1 overall – a mark that the Beavers hope is good enough to earn an at-large bid to the upcoming NCAA Tournament. The field for that tourney will be announced on Sunday night. Meanwhile, Brandeis ends its season with a solid mark of 21-19 – the Judges’ second consecutive 20-plus win season.

Brandeis grabbed a 1-0 lead against Schlicht in the second inning of game two when junior Kaitlin Streilein singled, took second on an error, moved to third on a ground out, and scored on a wild pitch. Babson then tied it in the fifth, as sophomore Courtney Thurston reached on a bunt single, moved all the way to third on a sac bunt and an error, and scored on a double to right by Cartullo.

The game remained tied until the bottom of the seventh, when Thurston led off with her second bunt single of the game and third of the day. Lantz then laid down a perfect sac bunt to move her to second, and Cartullo followed with a fly ball to deep right that pushed the winning run to third. Lazar then ripped a single to right center, scoring Thurston and giving Babson the dramatic 2-1 victory.

Schlicht (10-6) was brilliant in what may have been her final collegiate game, as she allowed one unearned run on four hits, walked one and struck out four in seven innings of work. The victory was the 37th of her brilliant career, putting her third behind program greats Meg Gaskell and Colleen Kelly on Babson’s all-time wins list. In addition, her four strikeouts gave her 90 for the season and 341 in her career -- the most ever by a Babson pitcher.

First-year Emily Vaillette suffered the loss for Brandeis, despite allowing only two runs on eight hits in 6 2/3 innings. She fell to 5-5 with the loss.

Game one also featured an overpowering pitching performance, as Babson first-year Danielle Liska allowed just four hits and two walks while striking out nine in seven innings of a 3-0 victory. It was her 10th win and fourth shutout of the season, while the complete game was her ninth. She is now 10-4 on the year.

The opener saw Babson scord two runs in the bottom of the first inning, as sophomore Kaitlyn Clark lined a two-out double to right center, scoring Lantz and Lazar to give the Beavers a 2-0 lead. Babson then tacked on another run in the fifth when Thurston led off with a single, moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Lantz, took third on a passed ball, and scored on a sac fly to right by Cartullo.

First-year Allie Mussen took the loss for Brandeis, giving up three runs -- two earned -- on four hits, walking two and fanning five in six innings. The defeat evened her season record at 6-6.

First-year Chelsea Korp recorded two of the Judges' four hits in game one, while Clark finished with two hits for Babson. Thurston, Lazar, and junior Jess Byrn each led Babson with two hits in game two, while Streilein added two hits for the Judges.