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Softball: Squad impresses in a frenetic week of action

Staff Writer

Published: Monday, April 2, 2012

Updated: Monday, April 2, 2012 20:04

Softball

Joshua Linton

Utility infielder Leah McWilliams '12 prepares for the bunt in a 2-1 victory over WPI on Friday, March 23.

After two sets of double-headers last Monday and Tuesday, the fun did not end for the Judges. Despite the exhausting schedule, Brandeis would once again prove its mettle, winning three out of four games to improve its record to 8-8 on the season.

Last Wednesday, the Judges demonstrated their ability to win consistently, amid a season characterized by many ups and downs, against Wellesley College.

Brandeis swept its opponent, improving to .500 after two solid outings. Brandeis’ two aces, Caroline Miller ’12 and Casey Ducinski ’13, allowed just four hits in a combined 14 innings of play.

The Judges’ bats came alive in the 3rd inning of the first game of the doubleheader against Wellesley. Centerfielder Megan DeNubila ’12 led off with a single and then quickly advanced to second on a wild pitch from Wellesley junior Lauren Goldfarb. Utility infielder Amanda Genovese ’15 hit a single and brought DeNubila home, giving her team the early 1-0 advantage.

Brandeis carried this momentum into the following innings, scoring five runs to Wellesley’s one, pacing the Judges to a 6-1 victory.

Genovese paced the offensive effort, going 2-3 at the plate with an RBI.

“We always have a motto—when you win the first, you win the second,” she said.

“It was our first time that we had not only beat them in the first game by several runs, but also had come back and beat them by a few runs in the second game. ”

Entering the second game, the Judges were riding on the confidence of a big win. This was especially true for Ducinski, who threw a tremendous game against a difficult opponent.

“It was easy to come off a high coming from winning the first game,” said Ducinski.

“I was more jittery earlier in the season, and it was the first time in the season that I felt like I was in control. I just kept the ball low and it seemed to work. ”

Brandeis had terrific pitching, but the Judges also demonstrated their hitting prowess.

Genovese began the offensive onslaught with a well-placed single to get on base. Outfielder Lauren Porcaro ’12 homered with the runner on base, giving Brandeis the lead over the Blue. Just as in the first half, Brandeis was in cruise control.

By the bottom of the third inning, Ducinski had stifled Wellesley's bats. Meanwhile, Brandeis was looking to tack on a couple more runs. With two runners on base, Porcaro reached second base on an error and Brandeis found itself with a 4-0 lead.

Genovese explained the importance of Brandeis’ powerful offense in supporting the pitching and increasing momentum for the team.

“We backed [our pitchers] up offensively by either getting hits, putting the ball in play or walks,” she said.

The Judges’ offense seemed to find its pulse against Wellesley, finally coming together after numerous struggles all season. Ducinski tossed a complete game and struck out six batters.

Last Tuesday, the Judges enjoyed the sunny weather for the first game of their doubleheader against Emerson College.

Given that Brandeis lost 8-0 to Emerson just three weeks ago, the team was looking for revenge against its cross-town rivals. However, Brandeis could not gain its full revenge, losing 6-4 in the first game.

In the top of the first inning, Miller allowed two walks with a runner on first to load the bases. After a single and a key error, the Lions quickly notched a 2-0 lead.

In the next inning, Emerson sophomore outfielder Bianca Buono hit a home run with two runners on base, putting the game out of reach for the Judges.

However, Brandeis would get the last laugh. In an extra-inning thriller, the Judges overcame Lesley University in a back-and-forth struggle, eventually coming through with a 10-9 victory.

After seven innings, the score was tied at 8-8. Lesley scored a run in the top of the 8th inning, forcing Brandeis to come up with two runs in the bottom of the inning to stay alive.

The Judges did more than just score, however, driving in two runs to cap off a nail-biter. Genovese came home on a single from utility player Marianne Specker ’12.

With the bases loaded, sophomore pitcher Melissa Nolan was hit by a pitch, bringing the winning run to the plate and ending the game on an unconventional walk-off play.

The Judges hope to build upon their momentum in a doubleheader against Lasell College today, beginning at 3:30 p.m.

 

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