April 11, 2007

Softball sweeps UMass-Boston, 11-3 and 9-1

WALTHAM, Mass. – Four different players combined for five home runs today as the Brandeis University softball team swept visiting UMass-Boston, 11-3 and 9-1, on Marcus Field today.

Brandeis (14-11) wasted no time in the opener, scoring nine runs in the first inning. The first seven Judge hitters reached base and scored. The big hits were a three-run home run by rookie catcher Erin Ross (Manalapan, N.J.) and a two-run blast by junior 1B Kaitlin Streilein (Point Pleasant, N.J.). Junior RF Natalie Volpe (Southington, Conn.) and sophomore 3B Samantha Worth (Londonderry, N.H.) each contributed a two-run single in the inning.

UMass-Boston (4-8) got a pair of unearned runs in the third inning off of Brandeis rookie Allie Mussen (Franklin Square, N.Y.). Sophomore DP Lauren O'Connor (Everett, Mass.) had an RBI single, while junior catcher Alison Lowe (Brockton, Mass,) brought in another run with a ground out to second base.

The Judges got the runs back in the bottom of the frame when Streilein went deep for the second time in the game and the sixth time this season. The round-tripper tied her for the team lead. The Beacons scored one run in the top of the fifth when sophomore LF Jenn Widener (Hyde Park, Mass.) scored on a passed ball, but they could not cut the deficit below eight runs.

In the nightcap, UMass-Boston got on the board early. In the top of the first, senior 3B Andrea Ciarletta (Watertown, Mass.) smashed a double to right-center field that plated rookie pitcher Amanda Cianciulli (Billerica, Mass.), who had walked and stole second.

Brandeis answered in the bottom of the frame with four runs. Worth drove in two with a single to right field with the bases loaded. Senior catcher Christina McWilliams (Billerica, Mass.) hit a sacrifice fly to center, and junior 2B Amelia Schimmel (Oakland, Calif.) singled in McWilliams to increase the lead to 4-1. Brandeis rookie hurler Emily Vaillette (Milford, N.H.) took care of UMB after that, only allowing three more base runners to reach base to improve to 3-2 in the season.

Brandeis put the game away with two-run home runs by junior DP Danielle Mayer (Larkspur, Calif.) to left-center field in the fourth and by Volpe in the sixth to deep straight-away center field to end the game in the sixth. Mayer's blast regained the team home run lead for her with seven on the season, while Volpe's circuit clout was her second of the season.

Volpe was the big hitter for the Judges on the day, going 5-6 with five RBI, three runs scored and a home run. Streilein finished up 3-6 with a double, two home runs, four RBI and four runs scored. Mussen picked up the win for Brandeis in the opener with five innings of seven-hit ball, striking out four and walking none. She allowed three runs (one earned) to move to 5-3 on the season. Vaillette tossed a six-inning four-hitter in the second game, fanning five.

UMass-Boston was paced by Ciarlette, who was 4-6 on the afternoon, with a pair of doubles in the second game. Widener was the Beacons' only other multiple hitter, going 2-2 in the opener with a double two runs scored. She was 0-3 in the second game. Junior Alison Wall (Arlington, Mass.) dropped game one to fall to 1-4, while Cianciulli moved to 0-2 with a loss in game two.