WALTHAM, Mass. – On the second day of the University Athletic Association tournament, the Brandeis University softball team split its two contests. The Judges scored in each of their final five at-bats, including three runs in the sixth inning, to get past the University of Rochester, 7-6, in their opener. In the second game, Case Western Reserve belted two home runs en route to a 10-2 six-inning victory. The Judges now stand at 5-4 overall, 1-3 in the UAA. UR is 0-6, 0-2 UAA, while Case is 5-4, 2-1 UAA.
In the first game, Brandeis trailed, 5-2, after Rochester scored three runs in the top of the fourth. The Judges cut into the lead in the fourth on a sacrifice fly by rookie SS Madison Gagnon (Westlake Village, Calif./Westlake) and an infield out by classmate Madison Sullivan (Dover, N.H./Dover) in the fifth.
In the sixth, the Judges tied the game as sophomore CF Amanda Genovese (North Haven, Conn./North Haven) continued her tear on the base paths. Genovese led off the frame with a single back to the circle. She stole second and third and scored on an errant throw. With the bases empty again, Gagnon poked a ground-rule double, and rookie 2B Danielle Novotny (Milford, N.J./Delaware Valley) reached on a fielder's choice. After junior 1B Melissa Nolan (Windsor, Conn./Loomis Chafee) advanced the runners to second and third, sophomore catcher Cori Coleman (Burr Ridge, Ill./Hinsdale South) knocked a ball that was booted by the first baseman. Coleman got caught up in a pickle between first and second, allowing both runners to score as the Judges took a 7-5 lead.
Rochester got one of the three runs back in the seventh on a one-out home run by Gena Bradford Tume, but Brandeis sophomore Nikki Cote (Shelton, Conn./St. Joseph's) retired the final two batters on ground balls to second base to close out the 7-6 win. Cote improved to 3-2 on the season with her third complete game.
In the second game of the day against Case, Genovese again got things started with her legs in the first inning, stealing two more bases to raise her total to 15 on the season. She scored on a single to left by classmate Anya Kamber (Sammamish, Wash./Skyline).
Case responded with a manufactured run of their own in the bottom of the frame, as 2B Molly O'Brien singled and stole second. After 3B Rachel Komar followed with a bunt single, the two executed a double steal to knot the game at 1-1. Two batters later, after a single, the Spartans took the lead for good on a two-run home run by DP Gena Roberts. Case made it a 4-1 lead in the bottom of the second when LF Ashley Parello launched a lead-off home run to right field.
The Judges got a run back in the fourth on Kamber's second RBI of the game, a fielder's choice that scored Novotny, but the Spartans blew things open on a Parello RBI single in the fifth and five more runs in the sixth, when Parello ended the game with a two-run double that invoked the eight-run rule. Nolan fell to 1-2 on the season for the Judges, allowing four earned runs on six hits in one-plus innings of work. Senior Casey Ducinksi (Duxbury, Mass./Duxbury) allowed six runs, only two of which were earned, in 4.2 innings of relief. Kamber finished with two of Brandeis's five hits and both RBI. Case pounded out a season-high 17 hits, including three each for Parello and Komar, in support of Rebecca Taylor, who improved to 6-3 for the Spartans.
Brandeis returns to action tomorrow against fourth-ranked Emory in a rematch of the first game of the tournament, won by the Eagles, 16-7.