This past week, the softball team wrapped up their University Athletic Association (UAA) games for the season with four games against Washington University (WashU). The Judges won three of the four games in their meeting with the WashU Bears which earned the softball team second place in the UAA after a successful 13-7 record for their 2023 in-conference games. To follow that four-game series, the Judges faced the Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) Engineers in a doubleheader. The softball team split the doubleheader with WPI, winning the first game and losing the second.
In their first game of the four-game series against the WashU Bears, the Judges started off the scoring with one run in the bottom of the first. This run was resulted from a single by DP Alex Cohen ’24 which drove in Erin Hunt ’26 who got on base from a triple earlier in the inning. Hunt went on to score again in the third off of an error. To close out the scoring for the Judges was Bells Burdenski ’26 who scored off of a single from Haley Nash ’24. The Bears’ only run against the Judges came in the top of the sixth. This was the final run of the game, making the final score 3-1. Though pitcher Ragini Kannan ’26 nearly threw her fifth shutout for the season in this game, she still earned her 11th complete game of the season. Her record is now 12-4 on the season. Leading offensively for the Judges was Cohen with two hits and an RBI. She was followed by Hunt’s triple and Maddie Manes’ ’26 double, which were the Judges’ only extra-base hits of the game.
In their second game of the series, the Judges fell to the Bears which concluded their win streak of eight games in a row. The Bears held the Judges to a scoreless showing as they went on to earn nine runs off of 14 hits.
In their third game of the series and the first game of day two, the Judges started the scoring off strong as they earned two runs in both the first and second innings. The runs scored in the first were the result of a two-run double to right from Manes. The two runs in the second were produced by Burdenski who hit her fourth home run of the season, this time with one runner on. These were the only runs the Judges scored during this game. The Bears tried to earn the win, having scored a run in the second, third and sixth innings, but ultimately fell 3-4 to the Judges. Pitching for the Judges was Kannan who earned her 13th win of the season, making her record 13-4, which ties her for ninth in the Judges’ single-season wins list. During this game, Kannan also collected her 100th strikeout of the season which is the eighth 100K season in school history.
In their final game of the series, and final in-conference game of the season, the Judges were looking to capture both a win and clinch second place in the UAA. The Bears started off with scoring a run in both the first and second innings, but the Judges capitalized on scoring as they earned two runs in the bottom of the second and three runs in the third. These five runs would earn the Judges the win as the Bears only scored one more run which came in the fifth inning. The runs scored by the Judges in the second were produced by a single from Tristan Boyer ’25, which allowed Manes and Elle Ehrlich ’26 to make a double-steal and tie up the game. The final runs scored by the Judges were the result of multiple errors by the Bears which allowed the Judges the necessary scoring opportunities to capture the win. Pitching for the Judges was Cohen, who tossed five innings and improved her record to 8-5. Leading the Judges offensively was Hunt who went 3-for-4 at the plate, scored a run and stole two bases. Each of the five hitters in the Judges’ lineup scored a run during this game.
This series win against the WashU Bears was the first time in Judges’ softball history that they defeated the Bears. With this win, the Judges also clinched second place in the UAA for the first time since 2019 and won 20 games in back-to-back seasons for the first time in nearly 10 years.
To start off their eight non-conference games to conclude the 2023 season, the Judges faced the WPI Engineers at home on Wednesday, April 26. The Judges won the first game of the doubleheader 2-1. The first runs of the game came in the fourth, with each team scoring one run. The Judges scored their run off of a sacrifice fly from Cohen which drove in Hunt to tie up the game. The Judges captured the win through a walk-off hit from Boyer who drove in Nash. Pitching for the Judges was Kannan who tied her career high of 12 strikeouts in this game and improved her record to 14-4. This record places her in eighth for most wins in a season by a Judges pitcher.
In the second game of the doubleheader against WPI, the Judges fell 7-1 to the Engineers. The Judges’ only run of the game came in the bottom of the sixth off a grounder to short by Nash which drove in Hunt. Pitching the first four innings for the Judges was Cohen. Kannan pitched three innings of relief to conclude the game. With the four strikeouts she earned in this game, Kannan moved into third place on the Judges’ single-season strikeout list with 117.
Looking ahead, the Judges will face Lesley University at home on Thursday, April 27. The Judges will play at Tufts University on Friday, April 28 to conclude the final two innings of a game from April 5 that was suspended due to darkness.