Five-run fourth propels softball into ECAC championship game, 5-3, over Keene State

WALTHAM, Mass. -- In the first game of Day Two of the ECAC softball tournament, Brandeis defeated Keene State (28-14), 5-3, to earn a berth in the winner's bracket. The Owls struck for three unearned runs off senior Kaitlin Streilein (Point Pleasant, N.J.) in the first inning thanks to a two-out error. KSC senior catcher Melissa Scata (Medway, Mass.) followed with a mammoth home run to centerfield, her sixth of the campaign. The Owls drew a walk and had two seeing-eye singles to load the bases before senior 1B Kaity Conklin (Selkirk, N.Y.) drew and RBI walk to give them a 3-0 lead. Brandeis answered by batting around in the fifth, scoring five runs on four hits. The big blows were an RBI double by senior Natalie Volpe and a two-run single by rookie Melisa Cagar with the bases loaded the gave the Judges a 5-3 lead. Streilein took over from there, working out of trouble the rest of the way. She stranded runners in scoring position in each of the last three innings, including a bases-loaded jam in the sixth.