BOSTON, Mass. -- Brandeis softball sophomore pitcher Casey Ducinski (Duxbury, Mass./Duxbury) threw a five-inning no-hitter today, helping the Judges earn a split in a non-conference doubleheader at Emerson College. The Lions took game one, 5-3, before the Judges took an 8-0 victory in the second game. Brandeis moves to 5-10 on the season, Emerson to 4-8.
In the second game, Brandeis wasted no time in getting to Emerson pitchers, as the first six batters reached base and scored. After an RBI fielder's choice by senior 3B Danielle Lavallee (Sutton, Mass./Notre Dame Acad.) and a run-producing single by senior 1B Courtney Kelley (Leicester, Mass./Notre Dame Acad.), the big blow in the frame was a grand slam by junior catcher Megan DeNubila (Princeton, Mass./Wachusett Regional). The round tripper was the first home run of her career and the fourth by a Brandeis player this season.
That was all the offense that Ducinski needed, as she faced just two batters over the minimum. She struck out four Emerson hitters and walked three, but DeNubila caught one stealing in the first inning. The no-hitter is the first of Ducinski's collegiate career and the second by a Brandeis pitcher this season after rookie Melissa Nolan blanked Case Western Reserve on March 13 in Florida during the University Athletic Association tournament. Brandeis got its final two runs on a two-run single in the fifth inning by junior SS Brittany Grimm (Perkiomenville, Pa./Perkiomen Valley).
In the first contest, Emerson used a four-run fifth inning to break a 1-1 deadlock and the Lions hung on for the victory. Brandeis loaded the bases in the first with one out, but scored just one run on a Nolan squeeze bunt. Emerson junior pitcher Kesley Tuthill helped her own cause in the second with an RBI double, plating sophomore 3B Shannon Torosian, who had walked and stolen second. That was the only hit that Nolan allowed through the first four innings.
The Lions finally solved the Brandeis rookie in the fifth, taking advantage of wildness to draw three walks in the frame, two coming with the bases loaded. Torosian connected on what proved to be the game-winning hit, though, a solid double to left-center field that made the game 5-1.
Brandeis got two runs back in the sixth, when junior DP Marianne Specker (So. Windsor, Conn./Westminster School) walked and Lavallee followed with a long home run to left-center. It was Lavallee's first of the season and the fourth of her career. Nolan followed with a single to keep the rally hopes alive, but Tuthill settled down and retired the Judges' final six batters to take the win.
Tuthill carried the Lions on both sides of the field. She held the Judges to six hits over seven innings with five sitrkeouts and two walks, surrendering the three earned runs. She was also EC's only multiple-hitter, going 2-for-3 with a double, an RBI and a runs scored.
Nolan suffered the loss, throwing five innings of four-hit ball, but she had four costly walks to go along with eight strikeouts. Specker (2-2, R) and Lavallee (2-3, HR, 2RBI, R) were the top offensive performers for Brandeis.
The Judges return to action on Wednesday when they play host to Rhode Island College at 3 p.m. in a doubleheader.