ALTAMONTE SPRINGS, Fla. - The Brandeis softball team tossed a pair of shutouts today on the second day of the University Athletic Association (UAA) tournament. The Judges defeated Rochester, 8-0, and Case Western Reserve University, 11-0, to improve to 5-1 overall and 3-1 in the UAA. Only midway through the tournament, the Judges have already won more UAA conference games in a season than in any season since 2003.
Against Rochester, the senior hurler Emily Vaillette (Milford, N.H./Milford) shut down the Yellowjackets over six innings of work. She allowed just four hits, striking out six and walking just one for her seventh career shutout. Vaillette did not allow a runner past second base and never had more than one UR player on base at a time.
Offensively, the top two hitters in the lineup, junior 2B Melisa Cagar (Ridgewood, N.J./Ridgewood) and sophomore 3B Brittany Grimm (Perkiomenville, Pa./Perkiomen Valley) were the stars. The two produced all the runs the Judges would need before Rochester even recorded an out. Cagar opened the game with a single, stole second and came home on Grimm's second home run in as many days, a blast to center field. Cagar went on to go 3-for-4 on the day with three runs scored and four stolen bases, while Grimm was 2-for-4 with two RBI.
Brandeis also got big hits from junior CF Carly Schmand (Bethesda, Md./Walt Whitman), who had a two-run double in the fourth inning; and senior SS Chelsea Korp (Worcester, Mass./Holy Name), who doubled and scored in the three-run sixth inning. The game ended on an RBI single by sophomore LF Marianne Specker (So. Windsor, Conn./Westminster School) with one away in the sixth.
Senior catcher Juliana Nicholson (Webster, N.Y./Webster Thomas) was the top performer for Rochester, going 2-for-2 with a double.
In the second game of the day, three Brandeis hurlers combined to toss a three-hitter against Case, 11-0. Rookie Caroline Miller (Bala Cynwyd, Pa./Harriton) gave up two hits in the first inning, but the Spartans only had four base runners after that. Senior Allie Mussen (Franklin Square, N.Y./Carey) tossed three innings of one-hit ball, allowing one walk and one hit-by-pitch, while rookie Kelliann Kirby (Framingham, Mass./Marion) had a perfect sixth inning with a K in her first appearance in the circle.
Offensively for the Judges, rookie DH Stacy Berg (Owings Mills, Md./McDonough) shined, going 3-for-4 with five RBI, two runs scored, a double and her third home run of the season. Berg's two-run blast in the third inning doubled the Judges' lead from 2-0 to 4-0.
Brandeis got all the scoring they would need in the top of the first. With one away, Grimm doubled to left-center field and scored on a single through the hole at shortstop. Schmand singled and moved to second on a bunt in the second, scoring on one of three Spartan errors to put the Judges ahead 2-0.
Berg singled home a run in the fourth and smacked a two-run double in the sixth, while sophomore Lara Hirschler (Bellmore, N.Y./John F. Kennedy) added an RBI two-bagger of her own. Kirby and sophomore Samantha Gajewski (Elkridge, Md./Long Reach) added RBI in the five-run sixth as the Judges closed out the contest an inning early thanks to the eight-run rule. Grimm and Specker also had multi-hit games for the Judges.
Junior Beth Andrasik (Sagamore Hills, Ohio/Nordonia) suffered the loss for Case, falling to 3-4 on the season.
Brandeis will face Emory University tomorrow at 12:30 p.m., and attempt to avenge their only UAA loss of the season so far.