May 5, 2009

Kelley, Vaillette, Sax named Athlete of the Week

WALTHAM, Mass. - Brandeis University student-athletes claimed three University Athletic Association Athlete of the Week honors for the week ending May 2. Sophomore 1B Courtney Kelley of Leicester, Mass., and junior pitcher Emily Vaillette of Milford, Mass., were selected as the softball player and pitcher of the week, while senior Ali Sax of Lincoln, Mass., was recognized for women's outdoor track and field.

Kelley led the Judges at the plate in a 3-1 week by hitting .500 with a team-best five RBI to go with a double and two home runs for a 1.083 slugging percentage. She hit safely in all four games in the week, with a pair of big hits. After going 1-for-3 in the opener of doubleheader against No. 5-ranked Tufts, a 3-0 loss, Kelley's RBI double in the fourth inning proved to be the winning run in a 2-1 victory, the Jumbos' first of the season. In game one of a doubleheader against Emerson, the No. 3 team in the Northeast region, Kelley went 2-for-4 with three RBI and two home runs, including a solo shot in the bottom of the seventh that got the Judges within one run, eventually winning on a two-run walkoff homer. Kelley finished the week with a 1-for-3 performance with an RBI, as the Judges topped Emerson, 8-3. Kelley also handled 36 chances at first base without an error.

Vaillette was the team's top pitcher, going 2-0 with a 1.50 ERA in defeating two regionally-ranked teams. She topped Tufts, No. 1 in New England and No. 5 in the nation, 2-1, and Emerson, No. 3 in the Northeast, 8-3. Vaillette tossed seven innings in both games. She scattered seven hits allowing just one earned run against the Jumbos with two strikeouts and one walk. Against the Lions, she allowed just five hits and three runs (two earned) with four strikeouts and no walks. Vaillette has thrown complete games in 15 of her 21 starts this season, going 11-8.

Sax earned All-New England outdoor track honors by finishing in second place in the triple jump at the New England Division III championships this weekend at Springfield College. Her leap of 11.54 meters (37-10.5) was an NCAA championship provisional distance and ranks her 20th in the nation. Sax finished 10th in the nation in the triple jump during the indoor season.

Kelley is a 2007 graduate of Notre Dame Academy. She is the daughter of Dana and Rene Kelley, Leicester, Mass.

Vaillette is a 2006 graduate of Milford High School. She is the daughter of David and Carolyn Vaillette, Milford, N.H.

Sax is a 2005 graduate of Lincoln-Sudbury High School. She is the daughter of Eric and Julia Sax, Lincoln, Mass.