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Softball splits doubleheader with Simmons on heels of individual UAA honors

By zaronow

Section: Sports

March 28, 2008

the_hoot_3-28-08_page_11_image_0002.jpgSoftball kicked off their home season by splitting a double header against Simmons, taking the first game 6-3 but falling 9-3 in the evening match.

The Judges got all the offense they needed with a four-run second inning starting with Lauren Rashford ’10 swiping home on a double steal.

The winning runs were brought in on a three-run homer by rookie second baseman Melissa Cager ’11. Brandeis added two runs in the next inning, and the Judges weathered a late charge from the Sharks to walk away from game one with the win.

Kate Streilein ’08 went the full seven innings for Brandeis, picked up eight of her nine strikeouts in her first three innings, and gave up only one earned run. She is now 3-3 on the season. Streilein also went 2-4 at the plate.

Cager proved to be the offensive star of the game with her first collegiate home run, and she went 3-4 on the day.

The momentum could not be sustained in the second game however. Simmons got on the scoreboard first, but Streilein took the first pitch she saw over the center field wall to tie the game at one in the bottom of the second.

Unfortunately, the Sharks had Brandeis starter Emily Vaillette ’10 figured out as an RBI double from Danielle Szabo reclaimed the lead, and a two run homer by first baseman Natalie West ended Vaillette’s day and the Judges’ hopes of a sweep. Brandeis nearly climbed back in the bottom of the sixth, thanks in large part to three Sharks errors, but pitcher Sammi Letizio coaxed a pop up from Cager, ending the rally.

Simmons promptly hit up a tired Steilein for five runs, four of them coming from a grand slam by West, and Brandeis finished the home opener quietly.

Vaillette’s struggles continue this season as she drops to 0-3, surrendering four runs on four hits in only 2.2 innings pitched. Streilein ended up finishing the game, surrendering five runs on six hits, all earned, in the remaining 4.1 innings. Coach Jessica Johnson probably did want Streilein to be on the mound for 11.1 innings in one day.

Brandeis is now 6-7-1 on the season as they get a bit of a reprieve before they kick off the month of April with a trip to Worcester to take on WPI and then return home to play a double header against Regis College at home on April 3rd. Both games are at three pm.

Brandeis softball received some good news prior to the game as four members of Coach Johnson’s squad made the All-UAA team. Catcher Erin Ross ’10 earned first team honors with a .250 average and tied the league in throwing out four attempted base stealers.

Receiving second team honors were rookies Cager and Danielle Lavallee ’11 and elder statesman Steilein. Their contributions helped the Judges to a 3-5 record in the UAA Tournament, their best finish in Florida since 2003.
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