Softball falls just short of upsetting No. 3 WashU, 6-5

ALTAMONTE SPRINGS, Fla. -- The Brandeis University softball team jumped out to a 5-2 lead against the No. 3 team in the nation, but the Judges couldn't hang on, falling to Washington University, 6-5, in University Athletic Association (UAA) action today.

Brandeis (0-2) fell behind in the first on an RBI single by senior 3B Jamie Kressel. The Judges answered in the bottom of the frame on back-to-back two-out doubles by junior pitcher Natalie Volpe (Southington, Conn.) and junior 1B Kaitlin Streilein (Point Pleasant, N.J.).

WashU (4-2) got the lead back in the second on an RBI single by senior DH Laurel Sagartz. The damage could have been worse, as the Bears had the bases loaded with no out, but rookie Emily Vaillette (Milford, N.H.) came on in relief and was impressive in her first collegiate appearance. After getting a ground-ball out to shortstop to cut down a runner at home, she gave up Sagartz's single, but bounced back to strike out the next two WashU batters.

Brandeis struck for their big inning in the bottom of the third. The first four Judges reached base, with rookie SS Chelsea Korp (Worcester, Mass.) and junior RF Vicki Roomet (Jamaica, N.Y.) reaching on bunts. Volpe singled to tie the contest, while Streilein gave the Judges the lead with a single of her own. Two batters later, junior 2B Danielle Mayer (Larkspur, Calif.) doubled to center field to plate two more runs and give the Judges a 5-2 lead.

WashU answered in the fourth inning on a two-run triple by junior SS Laura D'Andra, who crossed the plate on a pinch-single by sophomore Lindsay Cavarra. The Bears scored the winning run with two out in the top of the sixth against Brandeis's third pitcher, rookie Allie Mussen (Franklin Square, N.Y.). Rookie catcher Carter Malouf singled to lead off the inning and advanced to third on a sacrifice and a ground out before Kressel hit a bloop single to center the just fell in. WashU's Sagartz struck out the side in the seventh to close out the game.

Brandeis was paced by Streilein, who went 2-3 with a pair of doubles, two RBI and a run scored. Volpe was 2-3 with a double, two runs scored and an RBI, while Mayer was also 2-3 with two RBI and a double. Mussen suffered the loss in her two-inning stint.