CLERMONT, Fla. - Brandeis University softball played three non-conference games this week before heading into the University Athletic Association tournament. The Judges went 1-2 in the games, defeating Thiel and suffering losses to DeSales and Monmouth (Ill.).
On Monday, the Judges fell 6-1 to DeSales University. Brandeis' only run of the game came in the fifth inning. Sophomore Casey Ducinski (Duxbury, Mass./Duxbury) was walked and then stole second. She was batted in by senior Carly Schmand (Bethesda, Md./Walt Whitman), who doubled for the RBI. Brandeis had three hits in the game but Schmand had the best performance for the Judges with an extra base hit and an RBI.
Brandeis came away with a 10-2 victory over Thiel College on Tuesday. The Judges scored five runs in the first inning and five more in the sixth to win the game. The Judges got on base in the first play of the game when junior Brittany Grimm (Perkiomenville, Pa./Perkiomen Valley) tripled. Schmand was walked and then stole second, but it was junior Marianne Specker (So. Windsor, Conn./Westminster School) who singled in the first run. Junior Maxie Hirschler (Bellmore, N.Y./John F. Kennedy) sent a sacrifice fly out to center field to bring Schmand home and advance Specker to third. Senior Danielle Lavallee (Sutton, Mass./Notre Dame Acad.) was walked and then stole second. With two runners on base, rookie Leah McWilliams (Billerica, Mass./Billerica Memorial) singled in 2 RBI. For the final run of the inning, senior Courtney Kelley (Leicester, Mass./Notre Dame Acad.) tripled for an RBI.
With the score still at 5-0 in the bottom of the sixth and two outs, Specker reached on an error by 1B. The Judges brought in junior Lauren Porcaro (Shrewsbury, Mass./Shrewsbury) as a pinch runner, who stole second and advanced to third on a wild pitch. Hirschler was walked and then stole second. With two runners on, Lavallee singled for 2 RBI. Junior Samantha Gajewski (Elkridge, Md./Long Reach) singled to bring Lavalle home to take an 8-0 lead. The Judges scored their last two runs with a double from McWilliams and a single from Kelley.
Melissa Nolan earned the win in the circle, pitching all six innings, allowing just two runs and five hits with seven strikeouts for her first collegiate win.
Monmouth (Ill.) topped Brandeis 8-5 in the last of the three games. The scored was tied 4-4 going into the final inning, but the Fighting Scotts were hot in the bottom of the eighth, plating four runs. The Judges tried to make a comeback but was only able to score one run. In their final scoring play, with McWilliams on second base, Kelley singled for the RBI. Hirschler and Levallee were standouts for the Judges, with two hits and an RBI a piece.