April 21, 2008

Softball needs extra innings against Smith, but pushes win streak to 20, 3-2 and 9-0

WALTHAM, Mass. – The Brandeis University softball team won four games today, defeating Regis College, 13-2 and 12-2, and Smith College, 3-2 and 9-0, to improve to 26-7-1 on the season. With the victories, the Judges have now won 20-straight contests, marking the second-longest winning streak for any sport in school history. Only a 23-game string by the baseball team to open the 1979 season is longer.

The streak was put to the test only once on the day, but first game against Smith (13-21) was one of the toughest the Judges have faced in their streak. Brandeis took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the fourth, when sophomore catcher Erin Ross (Manalapan, N.J.) singled home pinch runner Lauren Rashford (Whitesboro, N.Y.).

Smith answered with a pair of unearned runs against senior pitcher Kaitlin Streilein (Point Pleasant, N.J.) in the top of the fifth. The first two runners reached on errors in left field and at third base. After Streilein retired the next two batters, with runners on second and third, the Pioneers took the lead on a single down the left field line by junior pitcher Erin Quinn (Northbrook, Ill.), plating both runners.

Quinn took over from senior Dezarai Fisher (Phoenix, Ariz.) in the circle and shut the Judges down in the fifth and sixth. In the bottom of the seventh, the hosts rallied to keep their streak alive. With one away, sophomore SS Chelsea Korp (Worcester, Mass.) laced a double to left. Pinch hitter Samantha Worth (Londonderry, N.H.) followed suit, finding a gap in right-centerfield to knot the game at 2-2. Rrookie LF Erin Thorn (Perkasie, Pa.) singled to put runners at the corners and moved to second on the throw, but a nice stab on a liner by shortstop Kathryn Schoenen (Ellicott City, Md.) and a strikeout by Quinn got the Pioneers into extra innings.

In the eighth, Streilein opened with a K of her own and two grounders to short to leave the placed runner stranded at second. She then led off the inning by knocking junior relieve Emily Hiltzik's (Westbury, N.Y.) first pitch to right field to end the game, 3-2.

The Judges didn't let Smith into the game in the nightcap, tagging Hiltzik for four unearned runs in the second inning and Quinn for five runs (four earned) in the third to take a 9-0 decision in five innings. Every Brandeis starter had a hit, with Ross going 3-3 with three RBI on her second home run of the season. Volpe picked up the shutout by allowing just four hits over five innings to improve to 7-1 on the season. She struck out four and did not walk a batter. Smith junior 2B Crystal Fryer (Louisville, Ky.) had two hits for the Pioneers, both doubles.