ALTAMONTE SPRINGS, Fla. - On March 10, in their University Athletic Association opener, the Brandeis University softball team suffered their third straight loss, 3-2, to eighth-ranked Emory University. With the loss, Brandeis falls to 0-3, 0-1 in the UAA, while Emory moves to 16-1, 1-0 in the UAA.
Brandeis led things off in the top of the first inning with 2B Melisa Cagar (Ridgewood, N.J./Ridgewood) reaching on an error. She moved over to third on a sacrifice bunt followed by a pair of walks to load the bases with only one out. Junior C Erin Ross (Manalapan, N.J./Manalapan), who provided the offensive production for the Judges by going 2-for-4 with two RBI, produced the first run of the game with and an RBI single driving in Cagar. Emory got out of the jam leaving three on base. The Judges' 1-0 lead would hold up until the bottom of the fourth. Emory scored two runs on two hits. The two runs came home on a two-out pinch-hit single up the middle by rookie Jessica Boni (Fuquay Varina, N.C./Furquay-Varina).
Brandeis rebounded in the top of the fifth to tie the game up at 2-2. Rookie DH Marianne Specker (So. Windsor, Conn./Westminster School) singled to left field with one out. Specker was then pinch-run for by senior OF Victoria Roomet (Jamaica, N.Y./Francis Lewis). Sophomore 3B Danielle Lavallee (Sutton, Mass./Notre Dame Academy) then walked to put runners at first and second. Roomet then scored on an RBI single by Ross and an error by Emory's catcher. The Eagles would get out of the inning on a fly out to left field and then a strike out.
The Judges came up just short on the day as they saw the 2-2 tie broken in the bottom of the seventh. Emory started it off with an infield single by Caitlin Fitzgerald (Warren, N.J./The Pingry School). They played small-ball for the rest of the inning by moving Fitzgerald over to second on a sacrifice bunt and then advancing her to third on a bunt single by Cassie Walsh (Palm City, Fla./Jensen Beach). The game-winning run was off of a RBI single up the middle by Jessica Thomas (Springfield, Va./West Springfield) to drive home Fitzgerald.
Junior P Emily Vaillette (Milford, N.H./Milford) suffered the loss despite keeping the Eagles off the board in five of seven innings. She pitched 6.2 innings giving up only three runs on seven hits and two walks while striking out three.
Brandeis will look for a few victories down in Florida as they play seven more UAA games in the next four days.