Softball sweeps Wellesley, 4-2 and 4-0, in New England opener

WELLESLEY, Mass. (taken from a Wellesley College press release) – In the season and home opener for Wellesley College, the Blue were swept by visting Brandeis in non-conference softball action on Wednesday afternoon in Wellesley. The Judges took game one, 4-2, and
won the nightcap, 4-0. Wellesley falls to 0-2 on the season, while Brandeis improves to 5-7.

Wellesley got on the board first in game one, when Elora Daniele (Belle Mead, NJ) celebrated her first at-bat as a collegiate player by hammering a two-run home run over the left center field fence in the bottom of the second. Rachel Goldenberg (Rochester, NY), running for an injured Sinta Cebrian (Seattle, WA), scored on the play for a 2-0 Wellesley lead.

Brandeis cut into the lead in the top of the third, as Melisa Cagar (Ridgewood, NJ) singled with one out, then stole both second and third. Brittany Grimm (Perkiomenville, PA) grounded to short, but a Wellesley miscue allowed Cagar to score and trimmed the Wellesley lead to 2-1.

In the top of the fifth, the Judges loaded the bases with one out before Erin Ross (Manalapan, NJ) singled to left, sending home Lara Hirschler (Bellmore, NY) and Chelsea Korp (Worcester, MA) to give the visitors a 3-2 lead. Danielle Lavallee (Sutton, MA) followed with another single to score Grimm for a 4-2 Brandeis advantage. The lead proved to be more than enough, as Brandeis junior hurler Emily Vailette (Milford, NH) slammed the
door on the Blue the final three innings to seal the win for the judges.

Brandeis was led by Grimm with 2 hits while Ross added two RBI, including the game winner. Vailette was solid in the circle, allowing only three hits and one earned run in the win.

For Wellesley, Danile’s homer led the offense, while Megan Townsend (Saline, MI) chipped in two hits for the Blue. Pitcher Megan Wood (Jacksonville, FL) gave up two earned runs while scattering seven hits in the loss.

Game two proved to be a pitcher’s duel, featuring strong outings from the Blue’s Barbarajean Grundlock (Blackwood, NJ) and the Judges’ Caroline Miller (Bala Cynwyd, PA). Through five scoreless innings, Grundlock had allowed just three hits, though she faced serious threats in the first and fourth innings. Miller, meanwhile, gave up only two hits through five frames, without allowing a Wellesley player to reach second.

Brandeis broke through in top of the sixth, loading the bases with a walk and two singles before a soft liner from Korp’s drove in pinch runner Megan DeNubila (Princeton, MA) for a 1-0 lead. The Judges picked up another run on a Cagar fielder’s choice, but Wellesley ended the threat, turning an unsual 5-1-5 double play to end the inning.

Brandeis added to the lead with two more runs in the seventh inning with Lavallee and Specker each adding RBI in the frame. Miller then retired the Wellesley side in order to claim her third victory of the 2009 campaign.

For the Judges, a trio of rookies starred. Marianne Specker (So. Windsor, CT) notched a three-hit performance while Samantha Gajewski (Elkridge, MD) picked up two hits in the win. Miller was great on the mound for Brandeis, throwing a two-hit shutout with two strikeouts.

Wellesley saw hits from only Alison Davis (Glen Ellyn, IL) and Amanda Tai (Melrose, MA) in the nightcap. Grundlock threw all seven for the Blue, allowing three earned runs on eight hits while striking out five.