The Brandeis softball team spent their February break down in North Carolina. The Judges made the most of their time away from the University by sweeping all four games on the road. Strong pitching performances and overpowering offense made it easy for the Judges to kick off their season in the right direction explained by the Brandeis Athletics website.

Judges 8, Knights 0

The Judges started off the season with an 8–0 win against Southern Virginia University. In the first game of the series, hurler Sydney Goldman ’22 looked stellar as she enjoyed her first career win and shutout. She also struck out five and surrendered three hits while going the distance. While their defense and pitching was stellar, the Judges’ offense erupted  for eight runs, seven of which were produced by first-years.

Goldman began the offense by delivering a base-clearing double in the third inning. Marley Felder ’22 also contributed to the win by driving in three runs of her own. 

Judges 14, Bobcats 6

In game two, the Judges defeated Frostburg State University 14–6 in the double header. Junior pitcher Scottie Todd ’20 was the star of the show. While she did not have her usual electric stuff on the mound, she helped her own cause at the plate. Todd went the distance while surrendering six hits and six earned runs in six innings of work. However, at the plate Todd belted her third and fourth career home runs while collecting four runs batted in. 

The Judges also had six doubles in their fourteen hits. Briana Ureña ’20 hit two doubles and drove in three runs that game. Keri Lehtonen ’19 and Melissa Rothenberg ’21 also had doubles that game. 

Judges 5, Spirits 2

While games on Sunday were postponed due to mildly bad weather in North Carolina, the Judges were able to sweep Salem College on Monday 5–3 and 5–2 with come-from-behind wins to improve their record to 4–0 for the year. 

In game one, the Judges were trailing 3–1 going into the seventh inning. Lehtonen drove in a run in the third to get the Judges on the board. However, Salem College responded in the fourth inning by driving in a base-clearing double that plated three runs off of Amidori Anderson ’21, who made her first career start. 

The Judges may have gone down quietly in the next couple of innings, but the Judges were resilient and loaded the bases in the seventh inning. After Salem College struck out a Judges hitter for the second out of the inning, Felder stepped up to the plate. Felder continued her dominant streak and hit a double that tied the game. Lehtonen then hit a double that sealed the deal and drove in two runs to make the game 5–3. 

Todd came into the game in the bottom of the seventh to shut the door and notch her second win of the season. She collected two strikeouts in her one inning pitched in the winning effort. 

Judges 5, Spirits 3

In the second game of the doubleheader, Goldman toed the rubber and collected her second win of the season to improve to 2–0 for the year. She looked dominant as she gave up two unearned runs and allowing just three hits while punching out seven in their effort. 

The Judges were trailing, but shortstop Jolie Fujita ’21 tied the game by driving in a two-run double. Brandeis then took the lead on a double by Marissa DeLaurentis ’19, followed by a single by Caroline Sippin ’20, making the game score 4–2. Todd drove in the fifth run of the game in the sixth inning on a run batted in single. 

The Judges had a dominant Monday afternoon as the offense had nineteen hits, nine of which were doubles. Lehtonen had three doubles, while Todd and DeLaurentis each had two of their own. The Judges’ pitching was also impressive, as the three pitchers held Salem to five runs and eight hits. Through their first three games, the Salem College Spirits had scored 33 runs on 38 hits. 

This is the first time the Brandeis softball team has started the year 4–0 since 2014. The Judges are now off until Mar. 16 when they will be on the road again to  Worcester, Massachusetts. They will be playing against Clark University in a doubleheader at noon in an effort to improve their record.