MILFORD, N.H. – (Taken from the Southern Vermont Press Release) The Brandeis softball team continued its hot start to the season last night, defeating Southern Vt. in a pair games at the Hampshire Dome Sunday night. The Judges won the first contest, 14-0, in five innings, then took a 7-3 victory in the nightcap.
The Judges improve to 4-0 on the season with the two wins while SVC starts 0-2.
Game 1: Brandeis 14, Southern Vt. 0
In the first game, Brandeis junior Nikki Cote (Shelton, Conn./St. Joseph's) threw a strong first three innings while adding an RBI and a run scored on the offensive end. Judges rookie shortstop Liana Moss (Agoura Hills, Calif./Agoura) was 3-4 as she missed out on the cycle by a double; she knocked in five Brandeis runs and scored two more of her own.
Brandeis' bats started off hot, throwing up a nine spot in the top of the first to give Cote a comfortable lead early on. After one-out tallies with help from a wild pitch and throwing error following, Moss slapped one to right center and was able to cruise around the bases before the Mountaineers could track down the ball.
A pair of back-to-back doubles ensued a couple batters later, and Cote helped her own cause by poking a double to right, bringing around sophomore Madison Sullivan (Dover, N.H./Dover) for the 4-0 lead. After Cote moved to third on a wild pitch, she took off for home on a bunt by junior Nathasha Quiroz (Bronx, N.Y./IN-Tech Acad.), just getting under the tag on a bang-bang play. The Judges would tack on four more to provide a cushion that would not be put in jeopardy throughout the remainder of the contest.
Cote went out to the bump and proved problematic for Southern Vt. in her three innings of work, striking out eight Mountaineer batters in that time. The lone SVC runner she let on all night came by way of the walk in her second win of the season (2-0).
Brandeis added five insurance runs in the top of the third, once again using the bunt to get runners on before knocking the ball into the outfield to bring them in. Moss ripped a triple to plate two, and Sullivan then poked a fly to right field to allow junior Anya Kamber (Sammamish, Wash./Skyline High School) to tag up and score the 14th Brandeis run. Neither side scratched together any more offense through the bottom of the fifth when the game was called due to the 10-run rule.
Mountaineer junior pitcher Emily Fleming (Saratoga Springs, N.Y.) took the loss from the circle (0-1), going all five innings while striking out two Judges in the effort.
Brandeis totaled 18 hits with help from Sullivan, who was 2-for-3 with two RBIs and a run scored, and senior second baseman Leah McWilliams (Billerica, Mass./Billerica Memorial) who went 3-3 while plating two runs from the bottom of the order.
Southern Vt. senior catcher Kirstin Buchan (Albany, N.Y.) registered the lone Mountaineer hit, going 1-2 at the plate with a single.
Game 2: Brandeis 7, Southern Vt. 3
The backend of the doubleheader was a closer affair, but the Judges' offense manufactured enough runs to sweep the night and stay perfect on the young season.
The top five batters in the Brandeis batting order all scored. The top seven had at least one hit, as the Judges spread the production around.
Brandeis junior Cori Coleman (Burr Ridge, Ill./Hinsdale South) went 2-for-3 with an RBI and a run scored while sophomore third baseman Jordan Buscetto (Old Lyme, Conn./Old Lyme) was also 2-for-3, adding an RBI and a stolen base.
The Judges again took to an early lead, going up 2-0 in the bottom of the first with another Moss double and then a single to center by Coleman. SVC would cut that deficit to 2-1 in the top of the third when sophomore Rachel Robtoy (Baltic, Conn.) launched one into the netting in left field.
That score would not stand long, as Brandeis responded with three of its own in the bottom half of the frame with the help of Southern Vt. miscues. With Judges on second and third, a passed ball allowed Moss to come in with the eventual game-winning run, putting her team ahead 4-1.
The Mountaineers made it a 5-3 ballgame in the third, but the Judges were again quick to answer. Brandeis freshman rookie Melissa Soleimani (Somerset, Mass./Somerset Berkley Regional) went two scoreless innings on the rubber, keeping Southern Vt. from mounting a comeback.
Brandeis rookie Emma Krulick (Maitland, Fla./Winter Park) picked up her first collegiate win (1-0) while rookie Lauryn Zovistoski (Granville, N.Y.) suffered the loss (0-1) after giving up four earned runs on nine hits. Krulick allowed two earned runs on three hits, putting down eight Mountaineers by way of the K.
Brandeis is back in action on Sunday, when the Judges take on Penn St.-Behrend (9 a.m.) and Salve Regina University (11 a.m.). Southern Vt. is now off until its Spring Break trip to Myrtle Beach, S.C., starting the Snowbird Softball Classic on March 17.