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Softball swipes four of six

By Josh Geller

Section: Sports

March 31, 2006

Brandeis has celebrated its return from Florida by winning four out of six games to start play up north. An extra-chilly day warranted extra innings as Brandeis won the first game Thursday, 3-1 over MIT. Brandeis struck first in the third inning when Elissa Glucksman 06 led off the inning with a walk and later scored on a Kaitlin Streilein 08 double. Streilein pitched a gem, giving up only seven hits in the game.

Four of those hits came in the sixth inning, when MIT tied the game at one apiece. Bri Smith 06 was placed on second base to start the eighth inning. Mari Levine 06 sacrificed Smith to third and Natalie Volpe 08 and Caitlin Lukacs '07 each had an RBI double to give the Judges the eventual 3-1 victory.

Two days later, Brandeis hosted Bates College in a double-header. Bates took the first game in a 4-0 victory as the Bobcats pitched a two-hitter. Smith and Levine accounted for the two Brandeis hits. Brandeis fared better in the second game.
Bates shed first blood with a leadoff triple in the first inning, followed by an RBI groundout to score a run. In the fifth inning, Brandeis tied the game at one when Volpe hit her first career home run. Bates responded with a run in the top of the sixth inning but it was all Brandeis in the end.

Glucksman walked to lead off the inning, and later scored on a sacrifice fly to tie the game at two. Then, with the Brandeis bench high in energy, Levine hit a monster two-run home run over the center field fence to give Brandeis a 4-2 lead, which they maintained for the win. Streilein pitched all seven innings, striking out eleven.

On Monday, Brandeis traveled to UMass Boston to take on the Beacons. UMass got off to a quick start when their second batter of the game hit one of the cleanest inside the park home runs that this reporter has ever seen.

In the fourth inning, Brandeis finally got a hit and scored as Levine doubled and Danielle Mayer '08 knocked her in. Then Brandeis took control of the game with four runs in the fifth inning, largely thanks to key RBI doubles by Streinlin and Levine as well as a costly UMass error that allowed a run. UMass scored once in each of the final two innings, but it was not enough, as Brandeis cruised to a 5-3 win. Streilein pitched seven innings and struck out ten.

Brandeis won its third straight game on Tuesday when Natalie Volpe pitched a two-hit complete game shutout in a 7-0 victory over Simmons College. Volpe struck out ten batters and had a perfect game going into the fifth inning. Coach Sullivan said about Volpes performance, She overpowered a lot of their hitters and she fooled the rest of them. Brandeis scored two runs in the second inning when McWilliams singled in Levin and Lukacs reached on a fielders choice, scoring Volpe, who had reached on an error. In the sixth inning, Brandeis lit up the Simmons pitcher, with the entire order batting around to produce 5 runs and seal the win.

However, Wednesdays game against Lasell College did not go as well. Sullivan said after the game that today we werent as sharp as weve been and we gave up a couple of runs that we shouldnt have. Lasell struck first with two runs, but Brandeis tied the game in the top of the second when Mayer doubled to score Volpe and Rubin doubled to score Mayer.

In the third inning, Kaitlin Streilein celebrated her birthday with a home run to centerfield while Smith scored the other run on a fielders choice. In the fourth inning, Lasell knocked pitcher Mayer out of the game, scoring four runs to make the score 7-4. Fewer runs would have scored that inning if not for some questionable calls by the umpires. Brandeis scored two more runs in the sixth inning, but could not get the seventh as Lasell won 7-6.

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Notes: Brandeis hosts Trinity College at 1 p.m. on Saturday and Husson College for a double header at 11 a.m. on Sunday Volpe was named the UAA Hitter of the Week for the week of the 20th to the 26th. She went 3-10 with a double and a home run during that time period Volpe also was named to the All-UAA first team. She batted .500 in the tournament, tied for third, and was second in the tournament with four doublesBrianne Smith was named to the All-UAA second team. She was second on the team with a .208 batting average.

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