The #21 nationally ranked Brandeis softball team continues their hot streak while improving their record to 18–1–1 over a successful conference weekend against the Case Western Reserve University Spartans.

Spartans 4, Judges 2

The Judges suffered their first loss in the year when they fell to the Spartans 4–2. It happened when the Spartans jumped to a 1–0 lead in the third inning after a single knocked in the first run of the game. The Spartans extended their lead in the top of the sixth when a pinch hit drove in a single extending their lead to 2–0. 

However, this sent the Judges into action as they finally responded after being silent through the first five innings. Bridget Cifuni ’21 kicked off the inning with a bunt single. After a strikeout, Amidori Anderson ’22 doubled to right centerfield and drove in the Judges’ first run. Keri Lehtonen ’19 also doubled, making it her eleventh double of the year. Unfortunately, in the top of the seventh inning, the Spartans scored two more runs to give the Judges their first loss on the year.

Pitcher Scottie Todd ’20 suffered her first loss of the year (8–1) after giving up 11 hits and four runs, two earned. She also struckout two and walked four.

Spartans 0, Judges 5

In the second game of the doubleheader, the Judges answered back with a 5–0 win on an outstanding pitching performance by Sydney Goldman ’22. The Spartans were not able to figure her out as she threw a complete one-hitter game. Goldman was one strike away from throwing her first career no-hitter, but a full count single spoiled it. She threw 94 pitches, 63 for strikes to improve to 7–0 on the year.

Offensively, Prue Ross ’20 finished 2–4 with four runs batted in and two runs scored. She also hit a homerun in the third inning. The homerun was her first of the season and seventh of her career. 

Goldman closed the door in the seventh and earned Brandeis’ fifth University Athletic Association win of the year.

Spartans 1, Judges 4

In the third game of the four-game series a dueled through pitchers were dueling as there were three scoreless innings until the Spartans got on the board in the top of the fourth. However, a one run lead would not be enough as the red hot Judges’ offense would answer back in the top of the fifth to score four runs. 

Marissa DeLaurentis ’19 tied the game at one with a leadoff homer. It was her first homer of the season. Keri Lehtonen ’19 then reached on a dropped infield popup. Marley Felder ’22 doubled to left center, plating Lehtonen to take the lead. Todd then came up to the plate and blasted her fifth homer of the season, giving herself some insurance on the bump. 

The Spartans threatened in the top half of the seventh, but Jolie Fujita ’21 threw out a Spartan base runner, trying to score on a slow roller.

Todd earned the win to improve to 9–1 on the year. She threw her eighth complete game and struck out two while just walking one. 

Spartans 2, Judges 3

In game two of the doubleheader and the last game of the four game matchup, the Judges earned their runs through aggressive baserunning and timely hitting.

The Spartans scored early as they took a 1–0 lead in the second inning on a successful double steal attempt that allowed the first run of the game to cross. Brandeis responded in the third when DeLaurentis’ single sent a run home to tie the game at one. She then scored when she beat a throw home on a ground ball from the infield. 

In the fifth, the Spartans tied up the game, but the Judges responded inthe sixth as Fujita and Todd led off the inning with singles. After a passed ball that moved up the runners, Melissa Rothenberg ’21 squeezed in a run to tie the game at two points.

Fujita made two stellar plays in the seventh to lock down the Spartans in the top half. The Judges then started off the inning with three straight singles and loaded the bases,  putting pressure on the Spartans. Fujita then knocked a fly ball deep enough to plate Cifuni and win the game in walk off fashion.

Goldman earned her eighth win of the season by allowing two runs (one earned). She also struck out four batters and did not walk any in her outing. 

Brandeis continued their hot streak and are now ranked #21 in NCAA Division III. This is the first time the Judges have been nationally ranked since their 2011 season. We will just have to wait to see if their hot streak continues as they step out of conference play to take on Clark University on Tuesday and Worcester State on Wednesday before travelling to Carnegie Mellon University this weekend.