March 14, 2011

Softball struggles on final day of UAA action

ALTAMONTE SPRINGS, Fla. – The Brandeis softball team dropped its final two games of the 2011 University Athletic Association tournament today, suffering a 10-0 loss at the hands of Washington University and a 10-2 defeat to No. 10-ranked Emory University. With the losses, the Judges will return from Florida with a record of 4-7, 3-5 in the UAA, tied for third place in the league with Rochester.

In the opener against Washington (8-4-1, 6-2 UAA), Brandeis managed just two hits off of Bear pitcher Olivia Cook. Rookie catcher Leah McWilliams (Billerica, Mass./Billerica Memorial) singled to lead off the third inning and senior 3B Danielle Lavallee (Sutton, Mass./Notre Dame Acad.) singled in the fourth, but neither was able to get past second base. The Judges' best scoring opportunity came in the second inning, when senior 1B Courtney Kelley (Leicester, Mass./Notre Dame Acad.) and rookie pitcher Melissa Nolan (Windsor, Conn./Loomis Chaffee) drew two-out walks and moved into scoring position on a passed ball, but Cook got a come-backer to the mound to escape the jam.

Meanwhile, the Bears had a big six-run third inning that featured a pair of home runs off of Nolan. After the inning's first run came home on a wild pitch, LF Alyssa Abramoski hit a three-run job, her third of the season. Senior 3B Claire Voris connected for a two-run shot later in the inning, her fourth of the campaign. DP Alex Fjeldheim added a two-run double to highlight the Bears' four-run fourth.

Against Emory later in the day, the Judges' two runs against the Eagles were tied for the most allowed by the UAA champs in the tournament, but it wasn't enough to overcome miscues in the 10-2 loss. Emory scored their 10 run on just six hits, thanks to seven Brandeis walks and four errors. EU scored five runs in the bottom of the first inning on just two hits, but they were a pair of two-run doubles by DP Megan Light and CF Brittany Boeshore.

That was all the Eagles really needed, though they tacked on runs in each of the next three innings as well. The Judges finished with five hits, including two from junior RF Samantha Gajweski (Elkridge, Md./Long Reach). Four of those hits came in the fifth inning, when Brandeis scored its two runs in an effort to prolong the game. Gajewski singled to lead off the frame, and junior LF Maxie Hirschler (Bellmore, N.Y./J.F.K.) doubled to right center to put runners in scoring position. Two batters later, junior catcher Megan DeNubila (Princeton, Mass./Wachusett Regional) singled to right center. She got as far as third base on a Brittany Grimm (Perkiomenville, Pa./Perkiomen Valley) hit, but the Judges left two runners on base when the game ended.

Brandeis is scheduled to return to action this Saturday at noon when they travel to Clark University for their first action in New England.