PROVIDENCE, R.I. (courtesy RIC sports information) - The Brandeis University softball team avenged a pair of losses from last season today with a sweep of Rhode Island College, 9-3 and 6-5. With the wins, the Judges, ranked 18th in the latest NFCA poll, wrap up the road portion of their schedule with an 7-1 record in true road games and 14-4 away from home with neutral games included. Overall, the Judges, who were ranked second in New England in the most recent NCAA rankings, are 24-6-1, while RIC, #7 in the regional poll, falls to 24-9 as its longest losing streak in five seasons was extended to four games.
Brandeis junior third baseman Danielle Lavallee
(Sutton, Mass./Notre Dame Acad.) went 3-for-3 with two runs scored,
three RBI a double and a homer in the first tilt, while sophomore
first baseman Marianne Specker (South Windsor,
Conn./Westminster School) went 2-for-3 with three RBI in the second
contest. Senior pitcher Emily Vaillette (Milford,
N.H./Milford) factored in both decisions with a win and a save.
RIC junior first baseman Chelsi Panarelli (Shrewsbury, Mass.) went 3-for-6 with four RBI, a run scored and two doubles in a losing effort.
The Anchorwomen took a 1-0 lead in game one as Panarelli doubled in junior shortstop Donielle Mattoon (Coventry, R.I.) in the first. The visitors stormed back with a three-run second, chasing senior pitcher Jenna Deveines (Lowville, N.Y.) from the game. Lavallee got the ball rolling with a solo homer to left - her first of the season - while Specker and sophomore left fielder Brittany Grimm (Perkiomenville, Pa./Perkiomen Valley) each singled in a run.
RIC tied the game with a two-run third as sophomore third baseman Cristina Bailey (Londonderry, N.H.) plated one with a sacrifice fly and freshman designated player Kristina Gingell (Pascoag, R.I.) knocked in another on an RBI ground out.
The Judges went ahead for good by scoring two runs in the fourth. One came home on a wild pitch, while freshman designated player Stacy Berg (Owings Mills, Md./McDonough) smacked an RBI single.
A four-run seventh sealed the Anchorwomen's fate. Lavallee knocked in a pair as part of the decisive frame. Vaillette picked up the win (13-4), allowing just three runs on four hits to go along with five strikeouts. Berard took the loss (9-5).
Brandeis had to hold off a furious, two-out comeback attempt by RIC in the seventh inning of game two, after accumulating a comfortable, 6-2, lead.
The Judges took a 1-0 lead in the third on a Specker RBI single. The Anchorwomen answered back with two in the fourth with an RBI double from Panarelli and a run-scoring sacrifice bunt by junior designated player Laura DeNoncour (Johnston, R.I.).
Two runs by the visitors in the fifth knocked sophomore starter
Kyla Puccini (North Dighton, Mass.) out of the game as Berard was
called upon once again. With runners on second and third and one
away, Specker delivered a two run single to center to put the
Judges up, 3-2.
A key two-out error allowed two Brandeis runs to score two in the sixth and Berg knocked in what proved to be the game-winning run with an RBI single in the seventh.
In the seventh, Brandeis sophomore starter Caroline Miller (Bala Cynwyd, Pa./Harriton) had the first two Anchorwomen reach on her via an error and a single, but she induced two fielder's choice ground outs to nearly end the game. She issued a walk to Mattoon and Panarelli crushed a three-run double to center to bring in all three baserunners and cut RIC's deficit to just a run, 6-5. Vaillette came in and after a wild pitch allowed Panarelli to move up to third, she got DeNoncour to ground out to first to secure the win.
Miller got the win (7-2), allowing five runs, two of which were earned, on six hits in 6.2 innings. Vaillette was credited with her second save, while Puccini took the loss (6-3).
The Judges are back in action tomorrow at 4:00 p.m. when they take on Emerson College, ranked No. 5 in the NCAA Northeast Region, at home.