ALTAMONTE SPRINGS, Fla. – The Brandeis University softball team had its hands full with a pair of nationally-ranked teams on the first day of the 2013 University Athletic Association tournament. The Judges fell to fourth-ranked Emory, 16-7, in their opener and to No. 25 Washington University, 14-6, in their second game of the day. The Judges ended the day at 4-3, 0-2 in the UAA, while Emory improved to 25-1, 1-0 UAA, and WashU was 14-2, 2-0 UAA.
In the opener, Brandeis put up their highest run total against Emory since the initial meeting between the two squads in 1999. Rookie 1B Danielle Novotny (Milford, N.J./Delaware Valley) led the attack with a career-high four hits – including her second collegiate double - and three RBI. Seven different Brandeis players had hits and scored runs in the contest, but the pitching was unable to keep up. Emory scored their 16 runs on just 11 hits – including a first-inning grand slam by Hannah Sendel – but the Judges were done in by 15 walks in just five innings. The Eagles scored five runs in the first and seven in the second to put the game away.
In the nightcap, Brandeis was done in by defensive woes. They jumped out to a 1-0 lead on the Bears behind the legs of sophomore CF Amanda Genovese (North Haven, Conn./North Haven). Genovese led off with a bunt single, stole second and third and scored on Novotny's grounder to second.
WashU scored three unearned runs in the bottom of the second, taking advantage of leadoff error and an errant throw on a stolen base in addition to an RBI double by SS Adrienne White.
The Judges responded in the top of the third by sending 11 hitters to the plate and scoring five more runs to take a 6-3 lead. The first four batters reached, with rookie SS Madison Gagnon (Westlake Village, Calif. / Westlake) walking with the bases loaded to plate the first run of the inning. After WashU got the next two outs, junior 1B Melissa Nolan (Windsor, Conn./Loomis Chafee) singled in the tying run, while sophomore DP Cori Coleman (Burr Ridge, Ill./Hinsdale South) drove in two more with a single down the right-field line to give Brandeis the lead. Sophomore pitcher Nikki Cote (Shelton, Conn./St. Joseph's) closed the scoring with an RBI single to center.
Cote worked around a leadoff double in the Washington half of the third, but the Bears broke through in the fourth. WashU sent 15 batters to the plate, scoring 11 runs on six hits, two walks, two hit batters and five Brandeis errors. In total for the game, seven Judge miscues led to only five of the 14 runs they allowed being earned.
The Judges return to action tomorrow with two more UAA contests, taking on Rochester at 10:00 a.m. and Case Western Reserve at 12:30 p.m.