Women sweep doubleheader
The women's softball team finished off a nearly flawless week with a sweep of a doubleheader against visiting Emerson College, taking the opening game 5-2 and surviving an 8-6 slugfest in the second. The wins are part of a five-game winning streak for the Judges, a turnaround from a prior three-game losing streak.
The Judges now sit at 20-16 overall on the year.
Earlier in the week on Thursday, the team swept a doubleheader at Worcester State University, taking the opener 12-7 and the second game 5-4, and split a doubleheader at Clark University last Tuesday-dropping the first game 9-8 but responding with a 9-8 win in the second game.
Right fielder Danielle Novotny '16 said the winning streak is due to both a strong performace by both the offense and defense.
"The biggest contributing factor has been hitting in the lineup from top to bottom-everyone has had a clutch hit to contribute to us scoring runs," she said. "Our defense has been very solid as of late; we've turned a lot more double plays recently and that gives us momentum which we bring to the next play."
Center fielder Anya Kamber '15 paced the Judges offense in the first win over Emerson, going a perfect 4-for-4 from the plate, driving in five runs on a pair of RBI doubles and an RBI single. Starting pitcher Nikki Cote '14 picked up the win on Senior Day, allowing three runs on six hits, while striking out three batters over six innings pitched.
Emerson pushed across a run on their first hit of the day. After a pair of walks began the top of the first inning, Emerson senior outfielder Bianca Buono brought home a run with a single to second base.
Cote avoided further trouble when the Judges caught Emerson freshman pitcher Jenna Giannelli in a rundown between third and home during a stolen base attempt and got out of the inning.
Brandeis would respond in the bottom of the first inning, cashing in on a one-out walk by second baseman Leah McWilliams '14, who scored on second baseman Liana Moss's 17 home run just one batter later.
The Judges tacked on two more runs in the bottom of the second inning and three in the bottom of the third-four by Kamber-to jump out to a 7-1 lead. Though Emerson got two runs back in the top of the fifth inning, Kamber's fifth RBI of the game in the bottom of the inning gave the Judges an 8-3 lead put the game out of reach.
In the second game, starting pitcher Melissa Nolan '14 pitched a complete game, giving up two runs on six hits, and striking out six batters over seven innings of work. The Judges relied upon the longball to get past Emerson, scoring all five runs of the game via home run. First baseman Jordan Buscetto '16 hit a three-run home run in the bottom of the second inning before third baseman Madison Sullivan '16 and Nolan led off the bottom of the sixth inning with back-to-back home runs to seal the victory.
Kamber went 2-for-3 from the plate with a pair of singles, the only member of the Judges to record multiple hits on the day.
"It's been great seeing our pitchers succeed late into games because it gives them confidence, and it's generally good for them to face the same batters over and over again because they can pitch to the batter's weaknesses," Novotny said.
Sullivan led the Judges to a 5-4 victory in eight innings on Thursday in the first game of a doubleheader at Worcester State, driving in Novotny with no outs in the eighth inning. Cote pitched all eight innings to pick up the win for the Judges, recording three strikeouts along the way. In the first game, a 12-7 victory, Sullivan and second baseman Madison Gagnon '16 each had two RBIs, while both Novotny and Kamber went 4-for-5 and scored at least two runs.
The Judges began their winning streak with a 7-5 victory over Clark, getting two RBIs from both Moss and Novotny. Gagnon set the table as the leadoff hitter, going 2-for-5 with two runs scored. In a 9-8 loss in the first game, relief pitcher Melissa Soleimani '17 took the loss, giving up three runs in 2.2 innings of relief.
McWilliams paced the offense in the loss with a perfect 4-for-4 day from the plate, driving in three runs in the process.
The Judges conclude their regular season with a trip to Babson College today at 5 p.m.