April 1, 2007

Brandeis softball gets back to .500 with sweep of Husson, 6-2 & 8-6

WALTHAM, Mass. – The Brandeis University softball team got back to the .500 plateau today with a sweep of Husson College, 6-2 and 8-6, on Marcus Field. The Judges have won six in a row to break even for the second time this season.

Brandeis (8-8) fell behind in both contests. Husson (1-11) got on the board in the top of the first on a pair of doubles by rookie 2B Cassie Berry (Damiscotta, Maine) and sophomore 3B Jenny Rollins (Corinth, Maine). The Judges reclaimed the lead in the bottom of the third with five runs. Junior DP Natalie Volpe (Southington, Conn.) plated two runs with a double, while rookie pitcher Allie Mussen (Franklin Square, N.Y.) helped her own cause with an RBI double as well. Volpe also drove in a run with a sacrifice fly in the bottom of the fourth inning. Husson loaded the bases with one out in the sixth, but Mussen limited the Eagles to just one run on a fielder's choice by sophomore 1B Shannon Pietras (Chester, Maine). Mussen retired the last two batters on comebackers to the circle.

Volpe had the top offensive performance for the Judges, going 1-3 with a double and three RBI. Mussen, who was 2-3 with an RBI and a double and sophomore RF Vicki Roomet (Jamaica, N.Y.), who was 2-2 with a run scored, were the Judges' only multiple hitters, while Berry and junior catcher Shawna Bell (Corinth, Maine) were both 2-4 for the Eagles. Mussen struck out five and gave up two earned runs on seven hits and five walks in six inning of work to improve to 2-2 on the season. Volpe struck out the side in the seventh for the Judges. Junior Ashlee Paschal (Jefferson, N.H.) went the distance and suffered the loss for Husson.

In the second game, Brandeis overcame an error-filled second inning to rally for the win. Husson sent 10 batters to the plate and took advantage of five Brandeis errors to score six unearned runs. Pietras, Rollins and sophomore LF Nikita Colgan (Swanton, Vt.) all picked up RBI in the frame, with three other runs coming home on Brandeis miscues.

The Judges started the comeback with two runs in the bottom of the second thanks to a two-out single up the middle by Roomet. Junior 1B Kaitlin Streilein (Point Pleasant, N.J.) blasted her first home run of the season to lead off the third and trim Husson's lead to 6-3.

Streilein added two more RBI in the fourth with a one-out double to left field. After a successful suicide squeeze by rookie SS Chelsea Korp (Worcester, Mass.) tied the game at 6-6, Brandeis junior 2B Dani Mayer (Larkspur, Calif.) had the game-winning blow, a mammoth home run to the opposite field. Rookie hurler Emily Vaillette (Milford, N.H.) didn't allow a Husson runner past first base in the final three innings to hang on for the win.

Streilein was the big hitter for the Judges in game two, going 2-4 with three RBI and two runs scored out of the lead-off slot. Korp finished 3-4 with an RBI and run scored, while Mayer, Mussen and Roomet all had two hits in the second game. Berry, who went 2-4 with a run scored, was the only multiple hitter for the Eagles in the nightcap.

Vaillette went the distance to improve to 2-1 on the season. She allowed six unearned runs on seven hits with four strikeouts and two walks. Paschal suffered her second loss of the twinbill.