WALTHAM, Mass. – The Brandeis University softball team remained one of four unbeaten teams in Division III today with a pair of victories over Salem State University. The Judges topped the Vikings, 8-0, in five innings in the opener, and 4-2 in the nightcap. Brandeis improves to 10-0 for the second time in three seasons, while SSU falls to 2-10.
In Game One, junior Sydney Goldman (Sherman Oaks, Calif./Notre Dame) continued her stellar season, allowing just one hit on a leadoff bunt by Salem State's Sydney Chiasson. Goldman allowed just one more baserunner the rest of the way, hitting a batter that was erased when she tried to steal second. Goldman struck out 11 of the 16 SSU batters she faced, lowering her UAA-leading ERA to 0.27 and her opponent's batting average to .074. Goldman has not struck out fewer than 11 batters in any game and is averaging 14 Ks per seven innings, third-most in Division III.
Offensively, Brandeis got all the scoring they would need on an RBI double by senior CF Melissa Rothenberg (Lawrenceville, N.J./Lawrence) in the third inning. Back-to-back doubles by rookie DP Alex Cohen (West Palm Beach, Fla. / The Benjamin School) and sophomore catcher Tara Striggow (Cape Coral, Fla. / Cape Coral) in the fourth produced two more runs, as did an SSU error. After rookie 3B Haley Nash (Delmar, N.Y. / Bethlehem Central) drove in a run in the fifth, sophomore pinch hitter Sophia Micale (Winchester, Mass. / Winchester) slugged a bases-loaded double that brought in all three runners and ended the game.
In Game Two, rookie Rebecca Guerci (Roslyn, N.Y. / Herricks) continued the Judges' excellence in the circle, keeping Salem State at bay through the first four innings and allowing just one runner past first base. Brandeis opened the scoring in the third with a one-out solo home run by Rothenberg, while Nash delivered a solo shot with one down in the fourth. It was the third homer of the season for both players, tops on the team. Sophomore 1B Jamie Pippin (Redmond, Wash. / Lake Washington) added an RBI double in the fourth to make it 3-0.
SSU broke through for their first runs of the day in the top of the fifth. The Vikings loaded the bases on two hit batters and a single by RF Rebecca Walker. With two down, Chiasson singled to the opposite field, plating two runners to cut the deficit to 3-2.
Brandeis got one run back in the bottom of the inning when junior 2B Marley Felder (Miami, Fla./American Heritage School) singled and stole second. Felder then scored all the way from second when Cohen's fly ball sent the SSU centerfielder all the way to the warning track. Brandeis closed things out with an outstanding 6-4-3 double play to end the sixth and survived with runners on the corners and two away in the seventh. Guerci improved to 3-0 on the season with her third complete game. She allowed four hits and two earned runs, striking out two with two walks and two hit batters. SSU's Sierra Ricci fell to 1-2 on the campaign with six innings of seven-hit ball, striking out five, walking two and allowing six earned runs.
The Judges had a balanced offensive attack, with four different players getting a hit in both ends of the twinbill. Rothenberg, Cohen and Nash each had RBI in both contests, while Nash and Striggow each scored runs in both. Senior Bridget Cifuni (Georgetown, Mass./Brooks School) drew four walks and scored two runs in the opener.
Brandeis returns to action tomorrow at noon when they face Johnson and Wales University. Spectators are not permitted at the game, which will be streamed at www.brandeisjudges.com