Softball increases winning streak to 12 with 5-2 and 12-1 wins over JWU on Senior Day

Senior Bridget Cifuni with gifts from the team!
Senior Bridget Cifuni with gifts from the team!

WALTHAM, Mass. – The Brandeis University softball team extended its winning streak to 12 in a row to start the season today as the Judges defeated Johnson and Wales University twice, 5-2 and 12-1 in five innings, on Marcus Field. With the wins, the Judges improve to 12-0, while the Wildcats fall to 15-5.

In the opener, the Judges were outhit, 6-5, but converted their hits into a 5-2 victory. In the second inning, they scored twice on just one hit. Brandeis loaded the bases on three walks, and junior DP Alyssa Renskers (Duarte, Calif. / Duarte) got the scoring started with a sacrifice fly to center, while senior outfielder Bridget Cifuni (Georgetown, Mass./Brooks School) hit a scorching grounder to shortstop for a hit to make it 2-0.

The final three Brandeis runs came on three solo home runs. With two away in the third inning, rookies DP Alex Cohen (West Palm Beach, Fla. / The Benjamin School) and 3B Haley Nash (Delmar, N.Y. / Bethlehem Central) went back-to-back, with Nash's drive to left field hitting off the top of the fence. Cohen, who hit her first homer to right, drove one to left field in the fifth inning to round out Brandeis's scoring.

Judge junior Sydney Goldman (Sherman Oaks, Calif./Notre Dame) went the distance once again in the circle, improving to 6-0 on the season. JWU snapped her string of 25-straight scoreless innings on a seventh-inning home run by Haley Erickson. The runs were only the second and third allowed by Goldman all season. She gave up six hits and struck out six Wildcat batters – her first time in single digits this season – while walking two and hitting one opponent. JWU starter Summer Ramundo fell to 7-4, lasting just one-plus inning. She got hit by a pitch in the top of the second and issued two walks and two wild pitches in the bottom of the frame before getting lifted. Ramundo was responsible for the two runs scored by those walks. Sage Borkowski pitched the final five frames and gave up five hits and three earned runs, walking two, hitting one batter and striking out one.

In the second game, the Judges wasted little time getting to Johnson and Wales starter Livia Feole, with the first six hitters reaching safely. Brandeis would send 12 batters to the plate in the first, scoring six runs. Junior 2B Marley Felder (Miami, Fla./American Heritage School) and Nash each hit RBI doubles in the frame. Felder also drove in a run with a bases-loaded walk in her second plate appearance of the inning.

Brandeis added four more runs in the second, including Nash's second home run of the day and her team-leading fifth of the season. A wild pitch delivered the Judges' eighth run of the game, while Felder singled in two more runs to make it 10-1. The hosts closed out the scoring in the third inning, when Renskers drove in a run with a two-out double and scored after back-to-back wild pitches.

Cohen picked up the win in the circle in game 2, allowing two hits and one earned run in three innings of work. Sophomore Chandra Penton (Newton, Mass. / Newton South) worked around four hits in her two innings of shutout relief.

Felder led the way in Game 2, going 2-3 with a run scored and four RBI, tying her career-high. Nash and Renskers both went 2-3 with two RBI, two runs scored and a double, with Nash adding the home run to her total. Cohen and Nash each scored four runs across the two games. Cifuni went 1-4 with an RBI, a walk, and a run scored on her Senior Day.

With the wins, Brandeis remains one of four undefeated teams left in Division III. This marks the second time in three seasons they have gone undefeated in their first 12 games, having started 11-0-1 in 2019. The Judges return to action next Sunday afternoon on May 2, when they head to Tufts University for their regular season finale.