WALTHAM, Mass. - On a cold and overcast day, the Brandeis softball team split a doubleheader with Suffolk University. The Rams erased a 6-0 deficit and went on to win the opener in eight innings, 10-9, while the Judges ended game two early, 11-0, in five innings.
Brandeis (14-10) jumped out to the six-run lead by scoring three times in each of the first two innings. Junior catcher Erin Ross (Manalapan, N.J./Manalapan) drove in one run in the first, while two more came home on a Suffolk error. The big blow in the second was a two-run single by rookie pitcher Caroline Miller (Bala Cynwyd, Pa./Harriton).
Suffolk (10-11) broke through in the fifth inning on a two-run home run by senior CF Marie Trainor (Winthrop, Mass./Winthrop). It was her fourth of the season. The Rams then produced the big inning of the game in the sixth, when they took advantage of Brandeis wildness to score seven runs on just two hits. Three Brandeis pitchers combined to issue five walks and hit one batter in the frame, scoring their first three runs without a hit. Trainor gave the Rams a 7-6 lead with a two-run single, while rookie catcher Karina Bolster (Carlisle, Pa./Cumberland Valley) also had a two-run hit that gave the visitors a three-run lead.
The Judges cut into the lead in the bottom of the sixth on a two-run single by rookie 1B Marianne Specker (So. Windsor, Conn./Westminster School). They went on to tie it in the bottom of the seventh, and had an excellent opportunity to win the game. After a pair of singles put runners on the corners with one out, sophomore 2B Melisa Cagar (Ridgewood, N.J./Ridgewood) plated the tying run, putting runners on first and second. A passed ball moved both runners into scoring position, and rookie RF Samantha Gajewski (Eldridge, Md./Long Reach) walked to load the bases. Suffolk got out of the inning, however, by turning a line-drive into a double play.
Suffolk scored the game-winning run in the top of the eighth as Trainor produced her fifth RBI of the game, a one-out sacrifice fly. They then made a pair of nice defensive plays in the bottom of the inning, including a line-drive to third base that was snared by sophomore Monica Cioffi (E. Boston, Mass./E. Boston) that was the second out of the inning.
In the nightcap, the Judges wasted little time in defeating Suffolk, scoring four runs in the second, five more in the third and two in the fourth. Sophomore 1B Courtney Kelley (Leicster, Mass./Notre Dame Acad.) was the big hitter for Brandeis, going 2-2 with six RBI. She produced a two-run triple in the second inning and then had a grand slam home run to highlight the third. It was her second home run of the season and the sixth of her career. Cagar also went deep in the third, a solo shot, as she finished 2-3 with two RBI on the day. Rookie RF Lara Hirschler (Bellmore, N.Y./John F. Kennedy) was the only other multiple hitter for the Judges, going 2-3 with two runs scored as Brandeis needed just 10 hits to amass their 11 runs.