Softball ranks 21st in the nation, remains the only unbeaten team in the NCAA

April 12, 2019

The Brandeis softball team swept New York University 4-0 in their first weekend of UAA conference play. They had back to back doubleheaders, winning 3-1 and 9-1 on Saturday, and 6-3 and 3-1 on Sunday. With their wins from this weekend, the softball team extends their winning streak to fifteen and becomes the only team in the NCAA to remain undefeated. Brandeis also achieved national ranking this week, coming in at 21st in the NCAA.

The Judges started off their weekend against NYU on Saturday, where they won the game 3-1. The Violets started off the scoring in the second inning putting one run on the board. But the Judges quickly responded in the third inning answering NYU’s one run with three. With two runners on base, catcher, Keri Lehtonen ’19 sent a double to left field making the score 1-1. Then, Bridget Cifuni ’21 and shortstop Jolie Fujita ’21 hit back-to-back infield grounders to give Brandeis the lead. With the score being 3-1, the Judges and the Violets battled the next four innings scoreless, thanks to Brandeis pitcher Scottie Todd ’20. Todd held the Violets to just one hit over the next four innings. Todd finished the game with four strikeouts and three walks and only gave up one earned run.

In game two of Saturday, the Judges could not be stopped offensively. Brandeis scored nine runs on 15 hits. Fujita and Todd performed strongly for the Judges yet again, each finishing with three hits in the game. Lehtonen was also a big player for Brandeis, hitting a two-run triple in the sixth inning and a three-run double in the seventh. On the pitching side, the Judges remained a threat with Sydney Goldman ’22 on the mound. Goldman allowed only five hits for the Violets, and she finished with seven strikeouts. With this win, Goldman improves to 5-0.

Sunday, the Judges and the Violets returned to face off twice more, and the Judges remained victorious. In the first game of the day, the Brandeis pitching shut down NYU’s offense yet again. Todd pitched another complete game, improving to 8-0 on the season. She allowed only one earned run on five hits and finished with five strikeouts and two walks. Offensively, the Judges were first on the board with a run scored by Fujita. Brandeis then added two more runs in the bottom of the sixth, to which NYU responded with one.

The Judges had a slow start in game two and trailed 3-1 at the end of the sixth inning. Then, Brandeis came out hot in their final at-bat of the game, scoring five runs to NYU’s zero, allowing the Judges to win the game 6-3. Todd hit her fourth home run of the season to drive in the game-winning runs. Runs were scored by Todd, Lehtonen, Fujita, Marissa DeLaurentis ’19, Melissa Rothenberg ’21, and Amidori Anderson ’22. In the Violets final at-bat, Goldman struck out three batters in a row to secure the win for the Judges.

After the weekend, pitcher Sydney Goldman ’22 said, “It feels great to be the only unbeaten team. We have a really special team, and each player has a key role in every game. We all fight for each other, and it’s something we hope to continue throughout UAA play.”

With this win, Brandeis remains the only undefeated team in NCAA softball in any division. Brandeis was also ranked nationally this week, coming in at number 21 in the country in Division III Softball.

Brandeis will host Case Western Reserve next weekend for their first home UAA action of the season.

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