Judges fall to Tufts, 8-4, on softball diamond

MEDFORD, Mass. (Taken from a Tufts press release) - The Tufts University softball team finished on the winning end of a back-and-forth battle against Brandeis University, 8-4, on Monday afternoon at Spicer Field.

Brandeis junior 1B Kate Streilein (Point Pleasant, NJ) hit the second pitch of the game over the left field fence for a 1-0 lead. Tufts literally stole a run to even the score at 1-1 in the bottom of the second. After advancing to third on a passed ball, Jumbo sophomore catcher Cara Hovhanessian (Farmington, CT) caught a retreating Brandeis battery by surprise and raced home. The play at the plate was close, but she was safe. Moments later, with the Brandeis battery in retreat again, Tufts pitcher Heather Kleinberger (New City, NY) attempted to score on the same play, but was out at the plate.

Kleinberger and Brandeis first-year Allie Mussen (Franklin Square, NY) pitched scoreless innings in the third and fourth. After Kleinberger pitched a scoreless top of the fifth, Tufts took its first lead of the game in the bottom of the inning. They scored three runs after two were out. First-year infielder Casey Sullivan (Berlin, CT) hit a two-run home run, and then sophomore RF Maya Ripecky (Chicago, IL) singled, stole second, went to third on a wild pitch and scored on a single by first-year DH Christy Tinker (Woodbridge, CT). Tufts led 4-1.

Brandeis would come back and knock Kleinberger out of the game in the sixth. Junior DH Dani Mayer (Larkspur, CA) led off with a single and was doubled to third by junior 2B Amelia Schimmel (Oakland, CA). Streilen, senior CF Marissa Rubin (Teaneck, NJ) and sophomore 3B Samantha Worth (Londonderry, NH) all drove home runs as nine Judges batted in the inning and they tied the score at 4-4.

Tufts senior pitcher Lauren Ebstein (Chicago, IL), who had ended the Brandeis rally by getting a fly ball, started one for the Jumbos with a one-out single to left in her first at bat of the season in the bottom of the sixth. Senior 1B Alaina Thiel (Orchard Park, NY) and sophomore Roni Herbst (Montclair, NJ) followed with singles to load the bases. Tufts then scored four times on a walk, a ground out by Sullivan and a two-run single by Ripecky. Ebstein retired the Judges in the seventh to earn the victory, improving her record to 4-1.

The Jumbos (21-10) were led by Sullivan's 2 for 4 day with three RBIs. Sophomore LF Laura Chapman (Seattle, WA) scored twice. Streilein (2 for 4 with two RBIs) and Worth, who was 2 for 3 and played a fine third base, were leaders of the day for Brandeis (15-16).