Softball extends winning streak to 11, unbeaten streak to 12 at Wellesley

WELLESLEY, Mass. (taken from a Wellesley College press release) -- The Brandeis University softball team extended its best-ever start today in a doubleheader at Wellesley College, winning their 11th-straight game, 4-2, to open the twinbill. The Judges' unbeaten record remained intact after game two, but their winning streak was snapped after darkness forced a 7-7 tie at the end of eight innings. Brandeis remains undefeated on the season at 11-0-1, dropping the Blue to 5-7-1 with Wednesday's result. Game two will end as a tie and will not be completed at a later date.

In the opener, Wellesley erased a two-run deficit in the bottom of the third inning only to see Brandeis rally to score in the fifth and sixth innings in a 4-2 victory.

Sophomore shortstop Jolie Fujita (Honolulu, Hawaii/Punahou, Hawaii) finished 3-for-4 to lead the Judges. First-year left fielder Amidori Anderson (Sparks, Nev./Spanish Springs) was 2-for-3 with a pair of RBI, while junior 1B PJ Ross (Kingston, N.H./Sanborn Regional) scored a run and finished with two hits. Junior pitcher Scottie Todd (Tampa, Fla./Strawberry Crest) only surrendered one earned run over seven innings to improve to 6-0 on the season.

First-year 3B Marisa Hensch and sophomore center fielder Gen Brittingham each went 2-for-4 to lead the Blue. Hensch added an RBI and scored a run. Senior Sydney Hopper pitched a complete game, striking out four and walking three in the setback (3-5).

Brandeis opened the scoring with a run in the top of the second. The Judges loaded the bases with one out to start the rally, scoring when Anderson singled up the middle to drive Ross home from third. Ross then helped Brandeis take a 2-0 lead in the third, driving home sophomore right fielder Bridget Cifuni (Georgetown, Mass./Brooks School) with an infield single.

The Blue got both runs back in the bottom of the third. Junior right fielder Kendall Smith doubled to lead off the inning, moving to third on a sacrifice bunt. Hensch got the Blue on the board with a single through the left side. The next batter, Brittingham, ripped a single to right. The Blue loaded the bases when catcher Autumn Brown reached on an error, but they were only able to tie the game when senior 2B Kalei Oliver reached on a fielder's choice.

Following a scoreless fourth, Brandeis took the lead back when Cifuni took home on an errant throw after a steal of third. The Judges added some insurance in the sixth, taking a 4-2 lead when Anderson singled to drive in pinch runner Marysa Massoia (Feeding Hills, Mass./Suffield Academy) after the senior replaced Todd on second following her leadoff double. Todd worked around a single in the sixth and pitched a perfect seventh to secure the 4-2 win. 

The Blue and the Judges matched each other in an entertaining back-and-forth contest that ended in a 7-7 tie in eight innings when darkness made it too difficult to continue in game two.

Ross and Fujita combined for a run in the top of the first in game two, giving the Judges the early advantage when Ross doubled to left to score Fujita after Fujita singled to start the game. The Blue immediately answered in the home half of the frame, as Brittingham picked up her team-leading 15th RBI of the season with a single to right that scored Smith.

Wellesley jumped ahead in the bottom of the third inning, scoring four runs on three hits and a Brandeis error. First-year left fielder Holly Chin opened the inning with a walk and came around to score on an error. With one away, Hensch walked and Brittingham singled, before brown singled to drive home Hensch. The next batter, Oliver delivered with a two-run single to center, scoring Brittingham and Brown to make the score 5-1. 

Senior catcher Keri Lehtonen (Oneco, Conn./Plainfield) reached on an error to start the Brandeis fourth. The Judges would go on to score four runs on four hits to tie the game at 5-5.

First-year 3B Marley Felder (Miami, Fla./American Heritage School) singled to score Lehtonen. Senior left fielder Marissa DeLaurentis (Centereach, N.Y./St. John the Baptist Diocesan) and Fujita followed with RBI hits before junior 2B Brianna Urena (Somerset, Mass./Somerset-Berkley Regional) tied the game with a two-RBI double to left. Brittingham saved a run in the inning, cutting down a runner at home on Fujita's base hit.

The game moved to extras with the score tied 5-5. Each team took advantage of the runner placed on second in the extra frame. Brandeis loaded the bases, scoring two runs on two hits, including an RBI single from starting pitcher Sydney Goldman (Sherman Oaks, Calif./Notre Dame), but left three on with a 7-5 lead at the end of the top half. The Blue tied the score in the home half, scoring on an RBI groundout from Brown and tying the contest on an Oliver RBI single to right. With the Blue unable to add the winning run, the game was called for darkness with the scored tied 7-7.

Brandeis will travel to NYU for a four-game set on Friday and Saturday, April 5 and 6, as they look to open University Athletic Association play.