ST. LOUIS, Mo. – The Brandeis softball team fell victim to a couple of three-run innings today as the Judges dropped a pair of close contests in their first-ever trip to University Athletic Association rivals Washington University. The Judges fell 4-1 in the opener and 4-0 in the second game. The Judges fall to 11-14 overall, 4-7 in the UAA, while the Bears improve to 20-11, 6-4 UAA.
HOW IT HAPPENED, GAME 1 (WashU 4, Brandeis 1)
The Judges had trouble converting their opportunities in the opener, as they were unable to score until the seventh inning despite putting runners in scoring position. Starting pitcher Scottie Todd (Tampa, Fla./Strawberry Crest) doubled with a runner on and two outs in the first, but Washington starter Anna McKee got a pop back to the circle to keep the game scoreless.
Todd worked around Washington baserunners in the first two innings before the hosts broke through in the third. After a pair of singles and stolen bases had runners on second and third with none out, Todd got a liner to third for the first out of the inning, but Washington CF Janet Taylor bounced one up the middle to break the ice. Taylor was thrown out trying to swipe second for the second out, and Todd stranded a run at third with a strikeout.
The Bears broke things open in with three runs on five hits in the fifth inning. Hannah Mehrle plated Kenzie James with one out to make it 2-0, while Hera Tang singled again two batters later to increase the lead to 3-0. Todd induced a bases-loaded grounder to second by Mackenzie Guaden that traded a run for an out, and got a liner to short to end it. It marked just the third time in 16 appearances this season Todd has allowed more than two earned runs in a game.
Brandeis spoiled Anna McKee's shutout bid in the seventh, when catcher Keri Lehtonen (Oneco, Conn./Plainfield) led off with a single and scored four batters later on a double by senior SS Madison Hunter (Parker, Colo./Legend). The Judges had runners on second and third with two out, but WashU reliever Maggie Clapp got a grounder to short to end the game and earn the save.
HOW IT HAPPENED, GAME 2 (WashU 4, Brandeis 0)
The Judges and Bears traded zeroes through the first three innings, though each team put runners in scoring position. WashU finally broke through in the bottom of the fourth, when starting pitcher Maggie Clapp helped her own cause with a two-run double. Two batters later Clapp came home on a single by 1B Mackenzie Gauden single, giving the home team a 3-0 lead. Bear senior Hannah Mehrle singled home a run in the fifth to make it a 4-0 lead. Brandeis put runners on in the sixth and seventh innings but could not break through.
Judge rookie Callie Macdonald (Hanover, Mass./Hanover) suffered the loss, falling to 1-6 on the season. She allowed nine hits and four earned runs in four innings. Junior Sadie-Rose Apfel (Stamford, Conn./Westhill) allowed just one hit in two innings of relief. Four different Judges had hits, including Todd and Lehtonen.
The two teams will meet again tomorrow for two more contests starting at 2 p.m. (1 Central).