WALTHAM, Mass. – The Brandeis University softball team hit three home runs in the nightcap of a doubleheader with Smith College today, giving the Judges a 12-4 win in six innings and salvaging a split of a doubleheader after the Pioneers won the opener, 7-1.
GAME ONE – HIGHLIGHTS
- The opener was a pitcher's duel through the first five innings.
- Brandeis's Sadie-Rose Apfel (Stamford, Conn./Westhill) allowed just one run on six hits through the first five frames, while Smith's Natalie Burchat (Shrewsbury, Mass./Shrewsbury) limited the Judges to one run on four hits.
- Brandeis scored first in the second inning, when senior 3B Madison Sullivan (Dover, N.H./Dover) doubled off the very top of the right-field fence. She moved to second on a bunt and scored on a passed ball.
- Smith answered in the top of the fourth when 2B Alyssa Pioggia (East Longmeadow, Mass./East Longmeadow) led off with a home run to right field.
- The Pioneers broke through against Apfel in the top of the sixth, scoring six times.
- Senior 3B Tori Brown (New Market, Md./Linganore) plated the winning run with a single to right, while DP Sarah Tully (West Simsbury, Conn./Simsbury) made it 3-0 by bouncing one up the middle to knock Apfel out of the game.
- Brandeis junior Melissa Soleimani (Somerset, Mass./Somerset Berkley Regional) hit the first batter she faced, then served up a grand slam to Smith junior Allison Snyder (Succasunna, N.J./Roxbury), giving the visitors the 7-0 lead.
- The Judge stranded two runners each in the sixth and seventh frames but couldn't get anyone home.
- The top seven hitters in the Smith lineup all had hits, with hitters 3 through 7 getting two each.
- Snyder's home run was her fifth of the season and the 13th of her career, a new Smith record.
- Burchat improved to 7-6 on the season by scattering seven hits over seven innings, allowing one unearned run. She walked one and struck out one.
- Apfel suffered the loss, falling to 4-4 on the campaign. She gave up 10 hits and five earned runs in 5.1 innings.
GAME TWO – HIGHLIGHTS
- The Judges bats exploded in the nightcap, scoring 12 times in six innings on 16 hits, including three home runs and two doubles.
- Brandeis scored runs five of their six at bats, with four two-run innings and four-run sixth to close out the game as the light diminished.
- Junior 1B Allison Hecht (Melville, N.Y./Half Hollow Hills East) hit her second home run of the season and third of her career in the second inning, giving Brandeis a 4-1 lead.
- Hecht finished a triple shy of the cycle, going 4-4 with a homer, a double and two singles, driving in three runs and scoring two.
- Junior SS Liana Moss (Agoura Hills, Calif./Agoura) added a two-run blast of her own in the fifth inning, the third of her season and 10th of her career.
- Moss finished 3-4 with three RBI and a run scored.
- The final round-tripper was hit by rookie catcher Keri Lehtonen (Oneco, Conn./Plainfield) in the Judges' four-run sixth. It was a three-run blast, her third of the season and career.
- Lehtonen went 2-3 with a game-high four RBI. It was her second four-RBI game of the season.
- Senior RF Danielle Novotny (Milford, N.J./Delaware Valley) matched Hecht with four hits and had a game-high three runs scored.
- Novotny also drove in runs in the first and fourth innings and had a stolen base.
- Sullivan batted leadoff for the first time this season and hit her 13th double of the campaign, moving her into the top 10 on Brandeis' single-season list for two baggers.
- Rookie Sarah Petrides (Scottsdale, Ariz./Phoenix Country Day School) earned the win for the Judges, going 3.2 innings, allowing six hits and three runs (two earned). She improves to 3-1.
- Soleimani pitched 1.2 innings of relief and gave up one run on five hits.
- Apfel came in the top of the sixth with one out, two runners on and the score 8-4. She needed just two pitches to escape, getting a pair of infield fielder's choices, to earn her first save of the season and the second of her career.
- Smith got two hits and a double each from Snyder and junior Brittany Blokker (Seattle, Wash./Ballard) in the losing effort.
- Sophomore Rowan Turner (Prairie Village, Kans./Shawnee Mission East) took the loss, giving up 10 of the 12 runs and 12 of the 16 hits. She falls to 3-9.
- Brandeis travels to Bowdoin on Saturday at 1 p.m. in a doubleheader, then hosts Bates on Sunday for Senior Day.
- Smith hosts a NEWMAC doubleheader on Friday at 3 p.m. against Wheaton College.