WALTHAM, Mass. – The Brandeis University softball team picked up a doubleheader split today against WPI. The Judges took a pitcher's duel in walk-off fashion in Game 1 by a 2-1 score, while the Engineers capitalized on Brandeis errors for a 7-1 win in Game 2.
- Brandeis: 22-11.
- WPI: 19-15.
HOW IT HAPPENED, GAME 1 (Brandeis 2, WPI 1)
- Pitching ruled the day in the opener as Brandeis rookie Ragini Kannan (Westford, Mass./Westford Academy) and WPI senior Sophia Togneri each tossed a complete game and allowed six combined hits.
- Both pitchers were perfect through the first three innings.
- The Engineers broke through first, as CF Sydney Russell singled to lead off the fourth. She stole second and scored on a single to right by 3B Destiny Lum. A Brandeis error put WPI runners on the corners with two out, but Kannan avoided further trouble.
- The Judges responded by manufacturing a run of their own in the bottom of the frame. First-year CF Erin Hunt (Wake Forest, N.C. / Franklin Academy) led off with a short liner that dropped right in front of the shortstop, allowing Hunt to beat the throw.
- Hunt stole second and moved to third on a bunt by first-year SS Bells Burdenski (San Diego, Calif. / Rancho Bernardo). That brought up junior DP Alex Cohen (West Palm Beach, Fla./The Benjamin School), who delivered a sacrifice fly to tie the game at 1-all.
- Kannan retired the final nine WPI batters she faced, while the Judges had runners on in the fifth and sixth frames against Togneri before breaking through in the bottom of the seventh.
- Junior 3B Haley Nash (Delmar, N.Y./Bethlehem Central) led off with a single off the second-base glove and followed with a steal of second.
- First-year 1B Maddie Manes (San Clemente, Calif / San Juan Hills) grounded a ball to third, but the throw across the diamond was high, allowing Manes to reach and putting runners on the corners.
- That brought up sophomore catcher Tristan Boyer (Chesapeake, Va./Grassfield), who drilled the first pitch she saw to center field for the walk-off hit.
- Boyer made a winner of Kannan, who improved to 14-4 on the season, moving into a tie for eighth-most wins in a season by a Brandeis pitcher.
- Kannan tied her career-high with 12 strikeouts, marking the third time she reached that total this season. She did not walk a batter, facing three hitters over the minimum.
- Togneri suffered the loss, falling to 9-10 on the campaign. She had one strikeout and one walk.
- There were no multiple hitters or extra-base hits in the game.
HOW IT HAPPENED, GAME TWO (WPI 7, Brandeis 1)
- WPI sophomore Kelly Pritchard met Brandeis junior Cohen in the second game, and it was the Engineers who came on top.
- The visitors scored first in the top of the first when SS Lindsay Ambrosino had a bunt single with one out. She stole second, moved to third on a wild pitch, and scored on a Lum sacrifice fly.
- The Judges saw their first eight hitters retired before a walk to senior RF Lily Medici (New City, N.Y./Clarkstown North). They were also down coach Dani Bishop, who was ejected after the first inning for arguing over a batter getting called out for hitting the ball while out of the batter's box.
- Meanwhile, WPI scored four unearned runs against Cohen in the third and fourth innings to take a 5-0 lead.
- Lum added a two-run single off of reliever Kannan in the sixth inning to extend their lead to 7-0 before the Judges broke through in the bottom of the frame.
- Hunt singled to lead off, moved to third on a fly ball to right, and scored on a grounder to short by Nash that was booted. Nash stole second and Manes walked, but Pritchard ended the inning with a strikeout. Togneri worked around a one-out single in the seventh to clinch the split for WPI.
- Russell and Ambrosino led WPI with two hits, while Russell scored three runs. Alicia Salvazo had a double.
- Senior 2B Jamie Pippin (Redmond, Wash./Lake Washington) had two hits for the Judges.
- Cohen fell to 8-6 with the loss, while allowing six hits and five runs (one earned). She struck out five and did not walk anyone in four innings.
- Kannan pitched three innings of relief and gave up three hits, two earned runs. She struck out four and walked two.
- With her 16 total strikeouts in the two contests, Kannan moved into third place on Brandeis's single-season strikeout list with 117.
- Pritchard improved to 5-0 on the campaign, allowing three hits and one unearned run in six innings of work. She struck out three and walked two.
- The Judges will take on Lesley University tomorrow for two more games starting at 3 p.m.