March 13, 2009

Softball downs Case, 6-2, and falls to WashU, 6-1

ALTAMONTE SPRINGS, Fla. – The Brandeis University softball team split a pair of University Athletic Association (UAA) contests today, defeating Case Western Reserve University, 6-2, in today’s opener before falling to Washington University, 6-1, in the day’s second contest.

Brandeis (3-6, 3-4 UAA) opened the day with a bang, scoring three runs in each of their first two innings against Case (3-7, 0-6 UAA). Sophomore 2B Melisa Cagar (Ridgewood, N.J./Ridgewood) created the Judges’ first run with an infield single and a steal of second. She moved to third on a single by senior Vicki Roomet (Jamaica, N.Y/Francis Lewis) and scored on a double-steal. After rookie SS Brittany Grimm (Perkiomenville, Pa./Perkiomen Valley) singled and a ground-out moved runners to second and third, senior 3B Samantha Worth (Londonderry, N.H./Londonderry) drove in two runs with a base hit to right.

After the Spartans got one run back in the second on a wild pitch with the bases loaded, Brandeis struck for three more in the second. Sophomore pitcher Erin Thorn (Perkasie, Pa./Pennridge) tripled to open the frame and came home on an RBI single by junior LF Chelsea Korp (Worcester, Mass./Holy Name). Cagar singled to put runners on first and second, but Case looked to avoid trouble on a line-drive double play off the bat of Roomet. However, Grimm was able to coax a walk, and she and Cagar scored on a double to center field by junior catcher Erin Ross (Manalapan, N.J./Manalapan), pushing the lead to 6-1. Case got another run back in the third inning on a RBI by LF Lauren Wolz, but Brandeis reliever Allie Mussen (Franklin Square, N.Y./Carey) came in and shut down the Spartans, holding them hitless over the final four innings to pick up a save on Thorn’s win.

Eight of the Judges’ nine starters had hits, with Cagar’s 2-4 with two runs scored and two stolen bases the only multiple-hit performance. Ross and Worth both had two RBI, and Thorn’s triple and Ross’s double were the only other extra-base knocks. Thorn was credited with the win, with three innings pitched, three hits and two earned runs, striking out four and walking two. Mussen fanned one and walked two in four innings of action for the save.

In the second contest, it was Washington University with a pair of crooked numbers, as the Bears scored two runs in the second and four in the fifth as part of their 13-hit attack against Brandeis junior Emily Vaillette (Milford, N.H./Milford). WashU strung together four singles to produce two runs in the second, with a nice play at home by Ross preventing further damage.

The Judges stranded two runners in the second and the Bears did the same in the third before blowing the game open in the fifth. They tallied four runs on three hits and two errors with only a couple of balls leaving the infield. Brandeis had one big chance to get back in the contest in the sixth, loading the bases with one out, but WashU rookie hurler Olivia Cook induced a pair of flyouts to get out of the jam. Cagar went deep in the seventh inning, her first round-tripper of the season and the fifth of her career to spoil the shutout bid. Cagar finished the day going 5-for-8 in the two contests with three runs scored and an RBI. Sophomore 1B Courtney Kelley (Leicester, Mass./Notre Dame Acad.) also had an extra-base hit, doubling in the fifth inning.