After playing four games at New York University (NYU), Brandeis softball returned home to play their final two games of the season. They faced Tufts University in a two-game series on Wednesday, April 27. In their previous series against NYU, the Judges won two and lost two games, so they looked to end their season on a high note.
In the first game, Brandeis fell behind early. Tufts scored three runs in the top of the first inning to give them the early lead. Third baseman Haley Nash ’24 got the Judges’ first hit of the game when she led off the second inning with a single toward first base. That would end up being Brandeis’ only baserunner until the bottom of the seventh inning. Meanwhile, Tufts scored two more runs in the top of the sixth inning and one run in the top of the seventh. So, Brandeis was faced with a 0-6 deficit going into the final half inning of the game. Center fielder Melissa Rothenberg (GRAD) got on base to start the inning after getting hit by a pitch. After two outs, left fielder Amidori Anderson ’22 stepped up to the plate with one runner on base. Anderson proceeded to hit the ball right down the right field line. As the ball rolled up toward the wall, Anderson was sprinting around the bases as she saw an opportunity to score. She rounded third and ran toward home plate. As she crossed the plate, Anderson was indeed safe with a two-run inside the park home run. Unfortunately, the comeback was halted as Brandeis lost the first game of the final series 2-6. Nash and Anderson were the only two players to have hits. Shortstop Jolie Fujita (GRAD) had a walk in the lead off position. Pitcher Alex Cohen ’24 pitched four innings while allowing three runs and four hits. She also struck out five batters while walking only one. Senior Sydney Goldman ’22 finished the game, pitching three innings while allowing six hits and three runs. Goldman walked two batters but also struck out five.
Game two saw Brandeis once again fall behind early. Tufts scored one run in the first inning and two more in the second. The Judges were held scoreless until Fujita got the team on the board with a solo home run to center field in the bottom of the third inning. Neither team scored in the fourth inning, however the Brandeis offense came alive in the bottom of the fifth inning. Anderson and freshman Fiona Doiron ’25 led off the inning with back-to-back singles. After two outs, Fujita came up to the plate with runners on second and third and two outs. She proceeded to hit a clutch single to score both runners and cut the deficit to one run. Cohen in right field then walked, setting the table for another two out hit. Senior second baseman Marley Felder ’22 hit a single into right field allowing Cohen and Doiron to score. This gave Brandeis a 4-3 lead at the end of the fifth inning. Tufts didn’t give up as they quickly answered in the sixth inning with two runs. The Judges had another opportunity to score after getting two runners on base in the bottom of the sixth inning, but they could not get that clutch hit they needed. Tufts ultimately scored four more runs in the seventh inning, while Brandeis didn’t score any more runs. Fujita, Anderson and Doiron led the team in hits with two. Felder and Fujita both had two runs batted in (RBI) for the game. Pitcher Rebecca Guerci ’24 pitched five innings while allowing nine hits and five runs. She walked one batter and struck out one batter. Pitcher Chandra Penton ’23 came out to finish the rest of the game. She struck out two batters and allowed four runs on four hits. In the final game of the regular season, the softball team was defeated 4-9.
The team’s final overall record was 22-18, while going 8-12 in conference games. As a team, they hit 0.274 with an on base percentage of 0.328. The Judges scored 159 runs while allowing 159 runs. Cohen and Felder tied the team lead in hits with 42 for the season. Nash led the team in home runs with seven, while Anderson was just behind her with six. Anderson and Rothenberg both had 21 RBIs for the season, but Nash led the team with 24 RBIs. Cohen led the team in innings pitched with 91 and strikeouts with 107. She struck out 7.63 batters per seven innings. Penton had the team’s lowest earned run average with 2.18, but Cohen was right behind her with a 2.40. Next year the team will be without infielder Alyssa Renskers ’22, Fujita, Felder, infielder Ashleigh Fultz ’22, Anderson, Goldman and Rothenberg. However, the team looks to be in good hands behind Cohen pitching and Nash on offense as they look to improve even more next season.