Softball moves closer to 20-win season with split against Trinity, 9-4 & 1-5

HARTFORD, Conn. -- The Brandeis University softball team moved within one victory of clinching their second-straight 20-win season today as they earned a split with Trinity College. The Judges won the opener, 9-4, but couldn't pick up win No. 20 in the nightcap, which the Bantams took, 5-1.

Brandeis (19-17) had a pair of four-RBI performances in game one. Junior RF Natalie Volpe (Southington, Conn.) went 1-3 with four RBI, knocking a three-run home run in the Judges' five-run fifth inning. Rookie SS Chelsea Korp (Worcester, Mass.) went 2-4 with four runs driven in and two scored. Korp had a two-run double in the top of the third as the Judges jumped out to a 3-0 lead, as Volpe also had a sacrifice fly in the inning.

Trinity (19-9) got the three runs back in the bottom of the third on a three-run blast by Ariana Mullen, who also had two home runs and four RBI on the afternoon. The Judges' five-run fifth was the deciding inning. They also tacked on another run in the sixth on Korp's RBI groundout that plated junior 1B Kaitlin Streilein (Point Pleasant, N.J.), who was 3-4 with three runs scored and a double. Rookie Allie Mussen (Franklin Square, N.Y.) picked up the win by scattering six hits over six innings of work. She walked two and didn't have a strikeout but improved to 6-5 on the season to take over the team lead in victories.

In game two, Streilein led off the contest with her 10th home run of the season, but that was the only time the Judges would cross the plate. Trinity tied the score on an RBI groundout in the second inning and claimed their first lead of the day in the third on a lead-off homer by Sara Daugherty. The Bantam pitchers took over from there, not allowing a Brandeis runner past second base the rest of the way. Volpe and senior LF Christina McWilliams (Billerica, Mass.) were the only multiple hitters for the Judges, both going 2-3. Volpe suffered the loss in the circle to fall to 5-3 on the campaign.