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Softball opens up 2024 season on the west coast

Over the February break this past week, the Brandeis softball team traveled to the west coast to open up their 2024 season. 

Their first game was on Feb. 22 against the Chapman University Panthers. The Judges’ bats were quiet for the first five innings of the game. Their first and only run of the game came in the sixth inning with a single by Hannah Fletcher ’27 which drove Maddie Manes ’26 home from second base. This made the score 7-1, Panthers, by the conclusion of the sixth inning. The Panthers then went on to score two more runs in the final inning of the game. Having double the amount of hits that the Judges produced during the game, the Panthers won 9-1 due to the 8-run rule.

Later that same day, the Judges faced the Whittier College Poets in their second game of the season. The game began with Whittier scoring two unearned runs due to errors by the Judges. The first run scored by the Judges was in the third. The bases were loaded, and a hit to shortstop by Fletcher advanced the runners, sending Anna Kolb ’25 home. Then, the next time the Judges were at bat, Brooke Boehmer ’27 singled up the middle which drove Haley Nash ’24 home from second base. By this point in the game, the score was tied 2-2. Another unearned run was scored by the Poets in the bottom of the fourth, making the score 2-3. Then, in the top of the sixth inning, a triple to center field by Bella Burdenski ’26 allowed the Judges to close in on the Poets again by tying the game 3-3. In the final inning of the game though, the Judges let up a double to right center which drove the Poets’ game-winning run home. After a tight game from the third inning, the Judges ultimately lost 3-4 to the Whittier College Poets. 

The following day, the Judges played a double-header against the University of La Verne Leopards. In the first game, the Judges responded to two unearned runs by the Leopards with two home runs in the second inning, the first being a two-run homer, which made the score 3-2, Judges. These home runs were hit by Nash and Burdenski respectively. Two innings later, the Leopards scored another three runs, taking a 3-5 lead over the Judges. In the fifth, the Judges responded with two runs off of a single from Burdenski and an RBI by Alex Cohen ’24. As the Leopards were unable to score any more runs, the Judges won the game off of a crucial homer by Nash in the seventh inning. The game concluded with a final score of 6-5. 

In their second game against the La Verne Leopards, and their final game of this recap, the Judges were unable to capture another win. Both teams started out strong, resulting in a scoreless first two innings of the game. The first run of the game was scored by the Judges. Nash lined out to center which sent Manes home. Though, the Leopards responded in the bottom of the third with two runs. Later in the seventh inning, the Judges scored two more runs off of hits by Kolb and Erin Hunt ’26 which drove Boehmer and Fletcher each home. Despite their strong offensive play in the seventh, the Judges let up an unearned run to the Leopards off of a fielding error, which ultimately cost them the game as the Leopards won 4-3 against the Judges. 

After some more training in Waltham, the Judges will take on the Wentworth Institute of Technology in an away doubleheader on March 16. The first game is set to start at noon as long as the weather cooperates and the field conditions are adequate.

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