Brandeis Softball traveled to the city that never sleeps to play University Athletic Association (UAA) rival New York University. The Judges and the Violets, though, played their four game conference series on Staten Island, NY. As NYU continues to renovate their athletic facilities, the Violets softball squad competes on collegiate campuses in the neighboring boroughs. Their home match-up against the Brandeis University Judges occurred at the College of Staten Island. The Judges earned a series split with NYU, improving to 22-16 on the season, 8-12 in the UAA; Brandeis is currently third in the league.
Pitcher Alex Cohen ’24 performed both offensively and defensively to help the Judges earn their first win of the series in extra innings. At the plate, she went 2-for-5 with an RBI and a double; and in the circle, Cohen pitched a career-high 10 innings and tied her career-best with 11 strikeouts in the process. She only allowed six hits and one earned run, walking three and hitting two batters. Cohen was the first Judge pitcher since March 2012, to throw double-digit innings in a game; she improved to 10-4 on the season.
Tied at 1-all headed into the late innings, the Judges had four singles in the frame; the last came from junior first baseman Jamie Pippin ’23 who drove in grad student center fielder Melissa Rothenberg (GRAD); Violets answered though, with an RBI single. While the Violets had chances to win the game in both regulation and in the ninth inning, before reaching the international tiebreaker rule in the 10th, Brandeis successfully extended the game.
In the top of the 10th, with a runner placed at second base, grad student shortstop Jolie Fujita (GRAD) bunted, allowing the go ahead run to second. Marley Felder ’22 then bunted Fujita to second and Cohen followed with a crucial RBI double to left making it 3-1, Brandeis. While NYU scored their runner from second that advanced her to third and home in the bottom of the 10th, Cohen got a grounder to third to end the game.
On Saturday, the Judges dropped the opener of the double-header, 2-1, before suffering a 7-1 loss in game two. In game one, the Judges outhit the Violets, 7-3, but were only able to convert once. Senior leftfield Amidori Anderson ’22 singled to open the fifth inning and successfully scored on a sacrifice fly by Fujita. In the sixth, the Judges had a chance to tie with four hits, but NYU threw out the tying run at home plate on Rothenberg’s single to right. Offensively, both Haley Nash ’24 and Anderson had two hits for Brandeis. Defensively, Rebecca Guerci ’24 fought hard from the cycle, but fell to 3-4 on the season, while only allowing three hits and two runs in four innings of work. Sydney Goldman ’22 threw a hitless two innings of relief, walking two and striking out one.
Game two on Saturday was even tougher for the Brandeis Judges, as they were only able to score one run on seven hits. Pitcher Chandra Penton ’23 suffered her first loss of the season, allowing three runs (only one earned) in three innings; Madeline Gorey ’25 allowed four runs on four hits in one inning of relief, while Goldman successfully held NYU off the board over their final two at-bats. Offensively, Brandeis had seven hits, all of which were singles by different players.
In their final game of the series, the Judges defeated the Violets, 5-4, to earn a series split. Fujita singled to center to open the scoring in the second inning; Cohen answered by reaching on an error to make it 2-0 in favor of the Judges. Cohen and Fujita kept the Judges in the game in the fourth inning with two more runs – an RBI from each. Nash added a key insurance run in the sixth, the Judges first home run of the series; this was Nash’s seventh of the season, 12th of her career – she has the second most in the UAA. Nash is now tied for 10th on the Judges’ all-time homer list.
NYU tightened the Brandeis lead scoring two-runs in the sixth to make it 5-3. Cohen, though, came in to pitch in the fourth and got the next two outs on flies to left field; the Violets successfully put one more run on the board, but Cohen got the next batter on another fly to left, securing the series split. Cohen earned her second win of the series, throwing four innings of four-hit relief, giving up three runs (two-earned) with two strikeouts; she improved to 11-4 on the season. Goldman tossed the first three innings, allowing two hits and one earned run, walking two and striking our two. Offensively, though, Anderson and Fujita led the Brandeis offense with three hits apiece; Fujita finished with two RBI, while Anderson scored two runs and had a stolen base.
You can read about the Judge’s previous campaign here. The Judges close out the regular season with a doubleheader against local rival Tufts University, on Wednesday April 27.