#20 softball takes UAA series with Carnegie Mellon with 5-1 and 6-2 wins

PITTSBURGH, Pa. – The 20th-ranked Brandeis University softball team swept a pair of contests from host Carnegie Mellon today as the Judges earned a University Athletic Association (UAA) series win against the Tartans. Brandeis won the opener, 5-1, and the second game, 6-2, to improve to 25-2-1 overall, 10-2 in the UAA. The Tartans fall to 10-22, 3-13 UAA.

In the opener, a game that was suspended in the bottom of the first inning yesterday, Brandeis scored the first five runs of the game. Senior leftfielder Marissa DeLaurentis (Centereach, N.Y./St. John the Baptist Diocesan) plated a run in the first on a bases-loaded sacrifice fly, and another in the fourth on a single to center.

They added two more in the sixth, on an error with runners on first and second that allowed sophomore CF Melissa Rothenberg (Lawrenceville, N.J./Lawrence) to score from second. DeLaurentis crossed the plate a batter later on a passed ball.

Rookie DP Sydney Goldman (Sherman Oaks, Calif./Notre Dame) drove in the team's final run in the seventh with a single through the left side.

In the circle, Brandeis junior Scottie Todd (Tampa, Fla./Strawberry Crest) held Carnegie Mellon hitless through the first five innings. Opposing hurler Gwen Delacruz broke up the no-hit bid leading off the sixth, but was erased on a double play. The Tartans broke through with a hit batter, a single and an error, finally plating their run on a single by center fielder Summer Faile. Todd closed it out to improve to 11-2 on the season with five strikeouts and no walks. Delacruz fell to 3-8. Brandeis's 6-7-8 hitters of Goldman, Rothenberg and DeLaurentis combined to go 6-for-9 with three RBI, three runs scored and a double by Goldman, the only extra-base hit of the game.

In the second contest, Brandeis scored three of their first four runs on sacrifice flies. The Judges could have done more damage than their initial sac fly by sophomore shortstop Jolie Fujita (Honolulu, Hawaii/Punahou School) in the third, but CMU pitcher Scottie McGee stranded 10 Judge runners in the first four frames, leaving them loaded in the first, third and fourth.

The Tartans took advantage of Brandeis's inability to score, as back-to-back doubles by McGee and pinch hitter Jess Eshebaugh produced two runs and a 2-1 lead for the hosts.

Brandeis finally got to McGee in the fifth. Fujita walked and DeLaurentis singled to start the inning. Rookie 1B Ashleigh Fultz (Silver Spring, Md. / St. Johns College H.S.) tied the game when her sacrifice bunt was thrown away, allowing the run to score and putting two more runners in scoring position. DeLaurentis scored on a fly to center by outfielder Amidori Anderson (Sparks, Nev./Spanish Springs), and Fultz came home on another flyout by Todd, giving the Judges a 4-2 lead. The Judges would tack on two insurance runs in the seventh, the first on a home run by Anderson, the first of her career, and the second after doubles from senior catcher Keri Lehtonen (Oneco, Conn./Plainfield) and Todd.

Goldman picked up the win in the circle, improving to a perfect 12-0 this season and taking over the UAA lead in victories with the 10th-highest single-season total in Brandeis history. She struck out four and walked three, allowing two earned runs on seven hits. Goldman also leads the UAA with a 1.48 ERA. McGee, who handed Brandeis its second loss of the season on Friday fell to 6-9 after issuing 11 walks in 4.1 innings. She struck out five and allowed four runs (two earned) on four hits.

With the wins, Brandeis reached the 25-win plateau for only the sixth time in school history, and the first since 2012, when they won 27. The Judges will try to match that squad for the fifth-most in program history on Tuesday when they meet Framingham State University for a non-conference doubleheader at 3 p.m.

The Judges now own a two-game lead in the University Athletic Association standings. They will host second-place Emory for a four-game set next weekend with a chance to clinch their first UAA title since the conference's first softball season of 1995, needing to split the series.