March 15, 2008

Kelley walk-off gives softball UAA win over WashU, 3-1

ALTAMONTE SPRINGS, Fla. -- In the final game of the University Athletic Association (UAA) tournament today, Brandeis University rookie 1B Courtney Kelley (Leicester, Mass.) hit a walk-off home run to give the Judges a 3-1 win over tourney champions Washington University, snapping the Bears' 14-game winning streak.

Brandeis (5-5, 3-5 UAA) fell behind early in the game, as WashU (15-3, 7-1 UAA) scored an unearned run in the top of the first. Bear senior RF Karli Stander led off with a bunt single and moved to third on an error struck by 3B Carter Malouf. Stander then got on the board on a squib in front of the plate. Brandeis senior Natalie Volpe (Southington, Conn.) settled down in the circle after that, allowing just four more base runners the rest of the way, only one reaching third base. She struck out three and walked just one to improve to 3-1 on the season.

Volpe helped her own cause at the plate, driving in the Judges' first run of the game in the fourth inning. After classmate and DH Kaitlin Streilein (Point Pleasant, N.J.) led off with a single to first base, rookie 3B Danielle Lavallee (Sutton, Mass.) bunted her to third. Volpe followed with a double to right field to knot the game at 1-1.

Brandeis sophomore Chelsea Korp (Worcester, Mass.) led off the sixth inning with a single, but was still there with two outs when she got picked off. In the seventh, Volpe reached on an error by the second baseman to lead off the inning. She moved to second on a grounder by sophomore catcher Erin Ross (Manalapan, N.J.), setting the stage for Kelley's heroic round-tripper to center-field. It was the Judges's second walk-off bomb of the tournament, having defeated Case Western Reserve by the same score to start the tourney.