April 2, 2008

Kelley drives in two as softball downs Lasell

WALTHAM, Mass. -- Rookie 1B Courtney Kelley (Leicester, Mass.) drove in both Brandeis runs today as the Judges defeated visiting Lasell College, 2-0, in the first of a two-opponent doubleheader on Marcus Field.

In the opener, Brandeis (9-7-1) and Lasell (9-14) had plenty of baserunners in the early going, but were unable to convert, as the teams combined to strand 11 runners through three-and-a-half innings. The Judges finally broke through in the bottom of the fourth. Senior pitcher Natalie Volpe (Southington, Conn.) led off with a double to left field. Rookie 3B Danielle Lavallee (Sutton, Mass.) singled up the middle to put runners on the corners, and Kelley executed a perfect suicide squeeze to break the stalemate.

Brandeis had runners on second and third with one out in the inning, but Laser rookie pitcher Alexandra Shackford (Center Conway, Mass.) escaped with no further damage. The Judges were in the same situation in the sixth, but Shackford again escaped when another squeeze attempt was popped up into a double play.

Brandeis doubled its lead in the bottom of the sixth on a one-out home run to deep centerfield by Kelley. It was her third round-tripper of the season.

The Lasers threatened in the seventh against Volpe, as sophomore CF Tricia Culver (Northampton, Mass.) singled to lead off and junior RF Tiffany Perla (Westminster, Mass.) walked. A wild pitch put runners on second and third with none out, leading Brandeis coach Jessica Johnson to summon sophomore Allie Mussen (Franklin Square, N.Y.) from the bullpen. Mussen got the first out as sophomore shortstop Chelsea Korp (Worcester, Mass.) cut down Culver at the plate. After Mussen walked rookie DP Kirsten Mammola (No. Reading, Mass.) to load the bases, she caught the next two batters looking to earn the save.

Kelley was the offensive star for the Judges, going 1-2 with both of her team's RBI and her home run. Rookie 2B Melisa Cagar (Ridgewood, N.J.) was the game's only multiple hitter, going 2-4 with her ninth double of the season. In addition to going 1-3 with a double at the plate, Volpe struck out seven and walked five while allowing six hits in the circle, improving to 4-1 on the campaign.

Lasell did not have any multiple hitters, and junior SS Heather Rose (W. Roxbury, Mass.) had their only extra-base hit, a double in the first. Shackford fell to 2-6 on the season, allowing six hits in four inning of work with one walk and one strikeout.