Softball upends #16 Rochester, 3-2, in UAA action, but falls in nine to #8 Emory, 6-2

ALTAMONTE SPRINGS, Fla.- The Brandeis University softball team picked up their second win of the season in a 3-2 University Athletic Association win over #16 Rochester.  With the victory, the Judges move to 2-4 overall, 2-2 in the UAA while Rochester falls to 6-5, 1-3 in the UAA. 

Both teams were held scoreless in the first two innings.  Rochester broke the 0-0 deadlock in the top of the third as they scored two runs on two hits and two errors.  The first run came on a two-out RBI double to right center by rookie Nikki Lee DiSalvio (Beacon, N.Y./Beacon).  Their second run came off a Brandeis throwing error for the second unearned run of the inning.  Rochester P Beth Amano (Buffalo, N.Y./John F. Kennedy) held the Judges to only two hits until the fifth inning. 

In the fifth, Brandeis junior SS Chelsea Korp (Worcester, Mass./Holy Name) led things off with a single to third base.  She was followed up by sophomore 2B Melisa Cagar (Ridgewood, Conn./Ridgewood) who walked and pushed Korp up to second base.  With still nobody out, rookie RF Samantha Gajewski (Elkridge, Md./Long Reach) reached on a sacrifice bunt down the third baseline.  The third baseman made a play on the ball but committed an error, allowing Korp to score from second.  With no outs, Cagar and Gajewski produced a key double steal to get both players into scoring position.  Rookie DH Marianne Specker (So. Windsor, Conn./Westminster School) singled up the middle to drive in Cagar and move Gajewski to third. The Judges scored one more run on an RBI groundout by rookie 3B Brittany Grimm (Perkiomenville, Pa/Perkiomen Valley) which drove in Gajewski and put Brandeis up 3-2.

The Judges' 3-2 lead would not be lost as Rochester looked to tie it up but failed.  Brandeis rookie P Caroline Miller (Bala Cynwyd, Pa./Harriton) pitched extremely well to earn her first collegiate win as a Judge.  In 6.0 innings pitched she gave up five hits, two runs (both unearned) and only one walk while striking out five before handing the ball off in the seventh inning to junior P Emily Vaillette (Milford, NH/Milford).  Vaillette came in and pitched a perfect inning to record her first save on the year. 

In their second game of the day, the Judges pushed eighth-ranked Emory to the brink for the second time this season, but the Judges fell just short against the Eagles, dropping a 6-2 decision in nine innings today in a University Athletic Association contest.

Brandeis (2-5, 2-3 UAA) was unable to hold on to the momentum from their 3-2 win over No. 16 Rochester from early in the day, falling behind in the third inning on an RBI single by Eagle rookie LF Jessica Thomas (Springfield, Va./W. Springfield). The Judges put two runners on in the bottom of the frame on singles by sophomore CF Carly Schmand (Bethesda, Md./Walt Whitman) and sophomore 2B Melisa Cagar (Ridgewood, N.J./Ridgewood), but could not push home an equalizer.

Emory (19-2, 4-1 UAA) added their second run in the top of the sixth on a two-out single up the middle by senior DH Carey Smith-Marchi (Mill Valley, Calif./Urban School of San Francisco). With runners on first and third in the frame, Brandeis rookie Caroline Miller (Bala Cynwyd, Pa./Harriton) came on and coaxed a ground out to escape further trouble.

The Judges finally broke through against EU rookie Kelsey Floyd (Newnan, Ga./Northgate) in the bottom of the seventh. Sophomore 3B Danielle Lavallee (Sutton, Mass./Notre Dame Acad.) led off with a walk and rookie SS Brittany Grimm (Perkiomenville, Pa./Perkiomen Valley) singled to put runners on first and second. Floyd got the first out on a strikeout, but rookie Lara Hirschler (Bellmore, N.Y./John F. Kennedy) reached on an error to load the bases. That brought up Schmand, who singled to drive in two runs and knot the game, 2-2. She advanced on the throw, putting two runners in scoring position, but Eagle senior Shanon Anderson (Sahuarita, Ariz./Sahuarita) retired the next two Brandeis batters by snagging a hard liner back through the box and inducing a grounder to second.

Both teams had base runners in the eighth inning but could not produce runs. In the ninth, Miller retired the first two batters on infield grounders, but EU junior CF Cassie Walsh (Palm City, Fla/Jensen Beach) reached on a bunt single and advanced to second on an error. That flustered Miller a bit, who tossed back-to-back wild pitches, allowing what proved to be the winning run to score. Miller then issued back-to-back walks followed by a three-run home run by Emory senior 1B Kim Bandy (Duluth, Ga./Duluth) that put the game out of reach, 6-2. The Judges got one base runner in the ninth, but it wasn't enough.

Brandeis finished with five hits, with Schmand's 2-for-4 performance with both RBI the only multiple hitter for the Judges. After junior Emily Vaillette (Milford, N.H./Milford) scattered six hits over 5.2 innings, allowing two earned runs, Miller suffered the loss by giving up four hits and four runs with three walks in 3.1 innings to fall to 2-1 on the season.

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