Red-hot Brandeis nips softball team in twinbill for 16th straight
WALTHAM, Mass. -- The Brandeis University softball team threw a pair of four-hitters, extending their school-record winning streak to 16 games with a 3-2 and 4-1 victory over visiting Bates College on Marcus Field Saturday. The Judges improved to 22-7-1 overall, while the Bobcats dropped to 5-16.
The Bobcats jumped on top early in the first contest. With one out, sophomore catcher Jean McIntyre (Marshfield, Mass.) reached on an error. Junior 3B Stacia Saniuk (Sharon, Mass.) followed with a long blast to right field for her fourth home run of the season and the 16th of her career to put the visitors ahead, 2-0.
Brandeis answered in the bottom of the third with a pair of unearned runs. Senior pitcher Kaitlin Streilein (Point Pleasant, N.J.) singled to lead off, and junior LF Samantha Worth (Londonderry, N.H.) reached on a dropped fly ball in the outfield, putting runners on second and third. Senior RF Natalie Volpe (Southington, Conn.) singled up the middle to cut the lead in half, while a ground out by rookie 1B Courtney Kelley (Leicester, Mass.) tied the score.
After two scoreless innings by Streilein and Bobcat rookie hurler Liz Johnston (Westport, Conn.), the Judges took advantage of another Bates error in the sixth to score the winning run. Kelley led off the frame with a double, while rookie CF Erin Thorn (Perkasie, Pa.) singled to second with one out to put runners on the corners. Johnston got the second out on a comeback line drive to the circle, but sophomore catcher Amelia Schimmel's (Oakland, Calif.) hard-hit ball was misplayed at second base, allowing the winning run to score.
Streilein retired the side in the seventh to improve to 13-3 on the season. She finished with 10 strikeouts, a season high, while allowing just four hits and walking none. The Bobcats did not get a runner past second base after the second inning. She also went 2-3 at the plate, as did Volpe, the only two Judges with multi-hit games. Saniuk was 2-3 with two RBI and the home run for the Bobcats. Johnston fell to 1-4, allowing nine hits and three unearned runs. She fanned two and walked one.
In the second game, it was Brandeis who struck in the first inning. The Judges led off with a pair of infield singles, but Bates senior hurler Shayna Waldman (Playa del Rey, Calif.) got two fly outs on the next two batters. That brought up rookie 3B Danielle Lavallee (Sutton, Mass.), who doubled home the first two runs of the game.
The Judges doubled the lead in the third, when Kelley led off with a home run to right field, her fourth of the season. Streilein followed with a single right, and was on second base two outs later when Worth's fly ball to left was dropped, allowing the Judges to take a 4-0 lead.
That was all Volpe needed. She allowed just one infield hit through the first five innings, striking out six and walking three to improve to 6-1. Sophomore Emily Vaillette (Milford, N.H.) came in for the final two innings, giving up the Bobcats' only run in the seventh on three straight singles. Sophomore SS Liz Stahler (Lyndonville, Vt.) drove in Bates' only run, but Vaillette induced a 4-6-3 double play to end the game. Waldman fell to 0-2 with the loss for the Bobcats.
Bates plays a makeup NESCAC East Division game at Bowdoin on Monday at 4:30 p.m.