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Softball continues with UAA-conference game wins

While the Brandeis community was enjoying spring break, Brandeis’ softball team remained to compete against non-conference and University Athletic Association (UAA) opponents. The Judges kicked off spring break in Atlanta, Georgia, where they split a four game series with UAA opponent Emory University. The Judges then returned to the northeast to play a doubleheader against Tufts University; Brandeis lost the first and were behind 0-5 in the top of the sixth when the game was suspended due to darkness. The Judges spent the Passover and Easter holiday weekend in Cleveland, Ohio where they unfortunately lost all 4 games to UAA competitor Case Western Reserve University. Upon their return, the Judges split a doubleheader with Endicott on Marcus Field, which kicked off their seven-game winning streak against Wellesley and New York University (NYU). The Judges have improved to 18-9 overall, 10-6 in UAA play. 

In the Judges first game of their four-game series against the Emory Eagles, first year pitcher Ragni Kannan ’26 improved to 7-0 on the season, despite giving up the most hits (nine), runs (five) and walks (four) she has allowed all season. Kannan did strike out three in her sixth complete game of the season. Fellow rookie Erin Hunt ’26 was one of Brandeis’ top hitters of the game, going 3-for-4 out of the leadoff spot with three scored runs and a stolen base; junior captain Alex Cohen ’24 was also 3-for-4 with an RBI and a run scored. The Judges won 7-5.

The following day, the Judges split the double header at Emory. While the Judges lost the first 2-1, Haley Nash ’24 hit a single to third base to get the Judges on the board in the top of the first; Hunt scored for the Judges on an Emory throwing error. The game was tough for both teams, as each team only managed two hits a piece between the second and sixth innings. In Game 2, the Judges scored four runs to beat the Eagles, 4-2. Offensively, first baseman Maddie Manes ’26 hit an RBI single to bring home Hunt, and senior right fielder Lily Medici ’23 hit a single to left center field to score Nash. Sophomore catcher Tristian Boyer ’25 scored off a single from Hunt that resulted in a fielding error and the last run of the game was scored by Cohen; in the top of the sixth Nash doubled into left field. Defensively, junior starting pitcher Rebecca Guerci ’24 pitched 3.1 innings while only allowing three hits on the day. Kannan relieved Guerci to improve to 8-0 on the year while also allowing three hits in game two.  

The Judges dropped the final game of the series to Emory, 5-0, however, Cohen and rookie shortstop Bells Burdenski ’26 each had two hits for the Judges; Burdenski also added a double and Nash a triple for Brandeis’ only extra-base hits. Defensively, Cohen suffered the loss in the circle, allowing five hits and four earned runs in two innings of work. Positively, though, Cohen struck out two and did not walk a batter; her record is 3-3. 

The Judges returned to Massachusetts where they faced the Tufts University Jumbos—ranked #9—in a doubleheader. Kannan suffered her first collegiate loss in the circle, allowing 13 hits and 10 runs in six innings of work; she successfully struck out four and walked one. Offensively, Hunt led the Judges hitting 3-of-4 with an RBI and teammate Manes also had two hits and a sacrifice fly for an RBI. Scoring was a team effort, though, as five different Judges scored. In the second game, Tufts scored five runs in the bottom of the first while Brandeis was scoreless through the fifth inning. The game, though, was suspended because of darkness, with no completion day scheduled.

The Judges continued their six-game road trip by traveling to Cleveland, Ohio where they dropped all four games to #8 Case Western Reserve University. In the first game, the Judges lost 12-5, however rookie center fielder Hunt was 1-3 with a career high three stolen bases. Senior pitcher Chandra Penton ’23 was the most effective Brandeis pitcher of the game, tossing three innings of four-hit ball, allowing two earned runs. In Game 2 and Game 3, the Spartans held the Judges to just five combined hits. Sophomore Fiona Doiron ’25 had a leadoff single in the seventh inning of the first game, but akin to the other opportunities the Judges had, Brandeis was unable to advance any further. Pento suffered the loss in the circle in game one, while Kannan threw three innings of work in Game 2 and was saddled with the loss, falling 8-3 on the season. 

The final game of the Brandeis v. Case Western Reserve University (CWRU) series was won by the Spartans, 8-0. Boyer was one of the only Judges to escape Spartan pitcher Lexi Miskey, as she struck out eight of 10 batters. Boyer survived on a third-inning single. Burdenski and Elle Ehrlich ’26 singled in the fourth and fifth, respectively, off Spartan relief pitcher Kylie Hosey; unfortunately, neither player past first base. 

While the Judges did not find much success against the CWRU Spartans, the Brandeis softball squad regained their confidence at home against Endicott to begin their seven-game winning streak. The Judges fell to Endicott in the first game of the doubleheader, 1-2, but Alex Cohen threw 83 pitches, 63 of which were strikes, earning her second career shutout and 13th complete game. She evened her record in the circle to 4-4 on the season. Three of the Judges four hits came in the second inning, but the only run that was plated was Manes’ solo home run to center field; it was her second homer of the season and her career. This win not only kicked off a seven-game win streak for the Judges, but it also snapped a seven game skid for the Judges. 

Before the Judges faced UAA opponent NYU on Marcus Field, the Judges won their first extra-inning contest of the season in the opener of a doubleheader against host Wellesley College; the Judges swept their opponent, 4-2 and 8-2. In game one, rookie pitcher Kannan improved to 9-4 on the season, snapping a personal four-game losing streak. She stuck out eight and did not walk a batter, allowing six hits and two runs in her longest outing of the season. Offensively, Hunt went 3-4 with two runs scored, while Cohen was 2-4 with three RBI, one run scored and a triple. In game two, Cohen earned the win improving to 5-4 on the season. Medici tripped and scored, while Cohen had a sacrifice fly to allow Manes to double for an RBI. Captain Jamie Pippin ’23 added an RBI double in the seventh to close out the scoring and make for the 8-2 final.

To round out spring break play, the Judges defended their home field, dominating all four games against UAA opponent NYU. In the first game, Nash went 2-2 with three RBI, two runs scored, a home run and a double. Nash’s homer was the 16th of her career, tying her for seventh on the Judges’ career list. Defensively, Kannan tossed a four hit shutout in seven innings of work for her fourth shutout of the season, improving to 10-4 on the season. 

In the second day of action, the Judges picked up a pair of UAA wins over NYU, 6-2 and 7-3. Cohen and Nash, junior powerhouses, combined to go 8-for-14 at the plate with seven RBI, seven runs scored, a double and three home runs; Cohen also picked up a complete-game win in the openerher fifth of the season and the 16th of her career. She also improved to 6-4 on the season after allowing just four hits and two earned runs. In the second game, Kannan relieved junior Guerci to improve to 11-4 this season, moving into a tie for second for the UAA lead in wins. She allowed five hits and one earned run in five innings and struck out four, giving 92 strikeouts on the season. 

In the final game of the Judges series against NYU, Brandeis won 10-2.  Burdenski led the Judges’ offense, connecting on 2-3 with three RBI, two runs scored and a home run; her homer was her third of the season. Nash was also successful, driving in two runs and scoring twice. Senior Medici aided Brandeis’ offense reaching base three times with two walks and a single resulting in two runs. Defensively, Cohen earned the relief of Penton, improving to 7-4 on the season; she struck out five and did not walk a batter, and only allowed one hit. 

The Judges look to extend their seven-game winning streak at home against Washington University in St. Louis, a competitive UAA opponent, for another four-game UAA series.       

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