Softball: Softball wins, qualifies for the playoffs
Published: Tuesday, May 3, 2011
Updated: Tuesday, May 31, 2011 23:05
Last Saturday, the softball team lost its first game before winning the nightcap of a doubleheader against Bowdoin College. The two games were Brandeis' final outings of the season. With the win in the final game, the Judges ended their season with a winning record of 18-17.In the first game of the doubleheader, Brandeis was unable to find any sort of hitting rhythm and lost 4-0. The Judges accumulated just four hits in the contest, while Brandeis' pitching allowed nine hits.
Bowdoin pulled ahead in the third inning. Sophomore shortstop Toni DaCampo belted a home run with two runners on base to put the Polar Bears up 3-0. Bowdoin was able to tack on another run in the fourth inning, when junior third baseman Caroline Dewar singled to allow junior centerfielder Hillary Smyth to score.
Pitcher Casey Ducinski '13 fell to 8-4 on the season, but it was poor pitching, not hitting, that did the Judges in.
"The pitching was pretty good," she said of the outing.
In the second game, Brandeis was able to find an offensive groove and pull out a win against Bowdoin by a score of 8-7 to move back above .500.
Ducinski said that the team put the loss in the first game behind them and just wanted to win the second game.
"Everybody had a really good attitude, and going into the second game, nobody was really down," she said.
Brandeis began the scoring in the first inning. Second baseman Marianne Specker '12 led off the inning with a single to left, and a couple of batters later, first baseman Courtney Kelley '11 singled to the right, allowing Specker to score.
"The hitting came along a lot better in the second game," said Ducinski. "It was a good back-and-forth the entire game."
In the bottom of the third inning, Brandeis cut a two-run deficit in half. The offense began just as it did in the first, with Specker singling to begin the inning. Outfielder Carly Schmand '11 then reached base on an error, allowing Specker to advance to second base. The next batter, shortstop Brittany Grimm '12, which loaded the bases. With two outs in the inning, centerfielder Samantha Gajewski '12 singled to right field, which brought in Schmand for the score.
In the next inning, Brandeis took the lead for good. The inning began with a walk by third baseman Danielle Lavallee '11. Two batters later, second baseman Caroline Miller '12 homered to place Brandeis one run on top of Bowdoin. Brandeis showed more flashes of offense during this inning, with Schmand and Grimm both singling but with nothing ultimately coming to fruition.
In the fifth inning, Brandeis added four more runs to put the game away. Kelley led off the inning with a single. After a Nolan sacrifice bunt to advance Kelley to second base, Gajewski doubled to center field, knocking in Kelley for the RBI. Lavallee then singled and second baseman Megan DeNubila '12 walked, loading the bases for Miller, who reached on an error by the Bowdoin catcher. That error scored Lavallee, though Gajewski was thrown out at home. On the next play, Specker singled to left field, knocking in Miller and DeNubila for two more RBIs.
In the top of the seventh, Bowdoin almost rallied back to tie the game. The Polar Bears entered the inning down by four runs, and managed to score three to give Brandeis a scare right at the end. But with two outs in the inning and a runner on third, Nolan struck out the hitter to end the game and give the Judges a win to end their season.
The warm weather and large crowd of 175 helped contribute to the remarkable energy at Brandeis' Marcus Field. "The energy was really good the whole day just because it was Senior Day," Ducinski said.
The team had numbers 5, 11, 12 and 24 on the outfield wall for the two games, honoring the team's four seniors: Lavallee; second baseman Melisa Cagar '11, who has been injured all season; Kelley; and Schmand. Cagar started the team's first game against Bowdoin, standing at second base for one pitch before being pulled to a standing ovation.