Brandeis Softball sweeps Carnegie Mellon in UAA opener
The Brandeis Softball team swept the Carnegie Mellon Tartans this past weekend, and they have moved to an impressive 9-1 on the season.
The Brandeis Softball team is off to a red hot start. With a combination of veteran and first year talent, this team could be poised for a serious shot at an NCAA tournament appearance. They currently sit 9-1, with four of their wins coming from a “run rule” — they scored too many runs for the seven innings to be completed. The Judges have allowed just 14 runs in the ten games they have played, eight of which came in their first two games. They are a perfect 4-0 in University Athletic Association play after sweeping Carnegie Mellon University this weekend.
During their games this past Friday, offense was the main difference-maker between the teams, winning the first game 11-1 and the second 9-1. The first game ended thanks to a three-run bomb by Anna Kolb ’25 which enacted the run rule. This home run was Kolb’s first of the season and second for Judges in that contest. In the later Friday game, Alex Cohen ’24 started on the mound and also drove in the first run for Brandeis. From there, the game slowly got out of control for the Tartans — they were unable to match the offensive prowess from the Judges and fell to the run rule once again.
Their Saturday match-up was a tough fight for the entire game as the offensive success of the previous day failed to continue. It was a cold New England day, and the players were feeling the stiffness of the weather. Luckily, first-year standout Ragini Kannan controlled the Tartans' fate from the mound — Kannan only allowed three hits throughout the entire contest and helped give Brandeis the win.
On their final day, the Judges fell behind 3-0 after a Carnegie Mellon player hit a three-run home run to put the opposition ahead in the top of the third inning. However, in the bottom of the fourth, the Judges responded with three runs of their own. As the fifth inning rolled around, extra innings looked to be a possibility, but Cohen had different plans. With two Judges on base, Cohen sent a moon shot to center field for her third home run of the season. After the three-run home run, the Judges tacked on two more runs to pull away from the Tartans. Kannan came into the game late to help crush the dreams of Tartan players and fans. This game wrapped up their weekend and gave Brandeis its first UAA sweep of the season.
Many veterans are carrying their weight, picking up where they left off a season ago. Third baseman Haley Nash ’24 is batting .379 with three home runs and eight runs batted in. Kolb, who has moved around the middle infield, is batting .480 with a .618 on base percentage and 14 runs scored. Cohen, who was selected to the 2022 UAA first team, continues to do it on both ends this year for the Judges. She is batting .406 with three home runs and 12 RBIs, while boasting a 3-1 record with a 2.63 earned run average and 33 strikeouts on the mound. The success of these veterans will be crucial as the team squares off against elite programs such as Case Western Reserve University and Washington University in St. Louis.
While experienced players are making their mark, the incredible impact of the first-years cannot be overstated. Kannan has had a dream start to her collegiate career with a 6-0 record, a complete game in all five starts, just three total earned runs in 36 innings, and a 0.58 ERA. Kannan has set the entire country on notice with her elite performance, and the Judges will rely on her come bigger games. She is accompanied by Erin Hunt ’26, Elle Ehrlich ’26, Bells Burdenski ’26, and Maddie Manes ’26 as the main first year contributors. Hunt is a shifty center fielder who is batting leadoff with a .400 average. Ehrlich has found her spot in the outfield and is batting a respectable .375. Burdenski joined the middle infield this past weekend and has crushed two home runs so far this season. Manes is getting it done across the stat sheet — playing some elite defense at first base and recording a .316 batting average with one home run to her name.
The Judges travel to Emory University in Atlanta this weekend to begin a 10-game road trip. Their next home games will be on Tuesday, April 11 against Endicott College.