Softball hands No. 7 WashU 9-6 loss in UAA tournament

ALTAMONTE SPRINGS, Fla. - The Brandeis University dropped its University Athletic Association opener against Emory University, 3-1, today, but the Judges rallied in their second contest to hand defending UAA champions Washington University a 9-6 loss, the Bears' first of the season.

Brandeis (3-1, 1-1 UAA) and Washington University (7-, 1-1 UAA) played a back-and-forth game that featured five different innings with multiple runs scored. The Judges opened the scoring in the third inning on a two-run home run to left field by junior 2B Melisa Cagar (Ridgewood, N.J./Ridgewood). It was her first of the season and the ninth of her career.

The Bears stranded two runners in the third inning, but claimed their first lead in the fourth. The first three batters reached safely on solid singles before senior CF Ashton Hitchcock (Normal, Ill/Normal University) connected for a grand slam off of Brandeis sophomore Caroline Miller (Bala Cynwyd, Pa./Harriton), giving Washington a 4-2 lead.

In the top of the fifth, Brandeis got jut one hit, but it was a big one, as a walk and two WashU errors were followed up by another grand slam, this time by Brandeis sophomore RF Brittany Grimm (Perkiomenville, Pa./Perkiomen Valley) went deep to left field for her first collegiate home run and a 6-4 Judges edge. In the bottom of the frame, Hitchcock picked up her fifth RBI of the day with a double to right-center, while a passed ball scored senior catcher Carter Malouf (Minneapolis, Minn./Academy of Holy Angels) to tied the score at 6-6.

The Judges played small-ball in the sixth to score the winning runs. After senior pitcher Allie Mussen (Franklin Square, N.Y./Carey), who relieved Miller after she surrendered the Hitchcock's blast, led off with a walk, an error on a bunt by senior SS Chelsea Korp (Worcester, Mass./Holy Name) put runners at second and third. That brought up junior CF Carly Schmand (Bethesda, Md./Walt Whitman), who sent a hard-shot single to shortstop that plated Mussen with what proved to be the game-winning run. Schmand was able to move to second while the fielders kept their eyes on Korp at third. Cagar followed with a squeeze bunt that got Korp home, and sophomore LF Marianne Specker (So. Windsor, Conn./Westminster School) did the same to put the Judges ahead, 9-6, the final margin.

Mussen retired the side in order in the sixth to pick up the win, while senior Emily Vaillette (Milford, N.H./Milford) did the same in the seventh to earn her third collegiate save. The win for the Judges was just their fifth in 21 meetings over Washington University.

In the opener against Emory, Vaillette scattered seven hits over seven innings, but two unearned runs were the downfall as the Judges fell, 3-1. The Eagles scored two runs in the first inning and another in the second. In the first, senior CF Cassie Walsh (Palm City, Fla./Jensen Beach) hit a two-out single up the middle to open the scoring. An error on the next play allowed EU to tack on another run on a base hit by sophomore catcher Jessica Boni (Fuquay Varina, N.C./Fuquay-Varina). In the second, senior RF Jenna Lamoreaux (Sugar Land, Texas/Elkins) led off with a single, but two errors allowed her to come home with the Eagles' third run.

Brandeis got infield hits in the second and third before finally getting on the board in the fourth. With two away, rookie DH Stacy Berg (Owings Mills, Md./McDonough) launched her second home run of the season to left-center field, getting the Judges within 3-1. Unfortunately, Brandeis could muster only one more hit after that, as EU rookie Jamie Melson (Conyers, Ga./Heritage) was outstanding in going the distance and improving to 2-2 on the season.

The Judges are back in action tomorrow with UAA contests against the University of Rochester at 10 a.m. and Case Western Reserve University at 12:30 p.m.

BRANDEIS-EMORY BOX SCORE

BRANDEIS-WASHU BOX SCORE

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