Women fall to top seed in ECAC Tournament
The second-seeded softball squad ended its season on May 10, losing 7-4 to the first-seeded Worcester Polytechnic Institute in the elimination round of the Eastern College Athletic Conference tournament. The Judges had just come off a 3-0 loss to the number three seed Smith College earlier in the day. With the losses, the Judges finish their season sporting a 21-18 overall record.
In the WPI game, Brandeis fell behind early when the Engineers scored one run in the bottom of the first inning on an RBI single by WPI senior catcher Juliana Fekete. The Judges tied the game in the fourth inning when a single by designated hitter Madison Hunter ’17 scored pinch runner Natasha Quiroz ’15.
Hunter went two-for-four on the day, and said that though the game was an elimination game she approached her hitting the same way she would any other game.
“I knew that the first pitcher had a great drop ball and would be throwing that a lot, so I knew that I needed to be in the front of the box to be able to hit the pitch before it broke,” she said. “Other than that, I approached it the same way I always do; I look for a pitch that I can hit so that I can be productive for the team.”
WPI broke the game open in the bottom of the fourth, scoring five runs on four hits, but Brandeis responded with three runs of their own in the fifth. Catcher Cori Coleman ’15 collected a pair of RBIs in the inning and right fielder Anya Kamber ’15 added one as well. The Engineers added another insurance run in the sixth, though, and the Judges were unable to produce any more runs and lost 7-4.
The game against Smith saw less offensive production from Brandeis. The Judges had only two hits in the game, compared to 13 hits for the Pioneers.
Smith scored one run in each of the third, fourth and fifth innings. The best scoring opportunity for Brandeis came in the bottom of the second inning. Coleman and designated player Danielle Novotny ’16 both reach base on two-out singles, but the Judges were not able to bring either of them home.
Though Smith collected 13 hits, the Brandeis pitching, led by starter Melissa Nolan ’14, kept the damage to a minimum, stranding 13 runners throughout the game. Nolan pitched 3.1 innings, surrendering two earned runs and collecting three strikeouts.
Utility player Amanda Genovese ’15, who earned first-team All-New England honors with a .452 batting average and 29 stolen bases on the season, said she thought the softball team had a solid season and that she is already excited for next year’s team.
“Overall, I thought there was a lot of untapped potential,” she said. “I think the team could do extremely well if we all set our minds to it and work hard next year. We should go to NCAA's with the talent we have.”
Hunter echoed Genovese’s sentiment, noting that the team’s chemistry played a large role in the team’s overall success.
“I thought that we had a decent season and that the team got along really well as a whole,” she said. “I think that the reason we did decently well this season is that we all knew each other really well and respected each other on and off the field and I can't wait to see what we do next season.”
Joining Genovese as first-team All-New England selections is Kamber, who appeared in every game this season, had a .420 batting average and led the team in hits, doubles and RBI’s.
Infielders Liana Moss ’17 and Madison Sullivan ’16 were also selected as third-team All-New England players. Moss led the Judges with seven home runs and 19 extra base hits and was also named UAA rookie of the year. Sullivan batted .383 overall and .407 in conference play. She also had nine doubles and 44 hits this season.
The Judges are off until next year, when they will look to build off of this year’s success with another postseason push.