Softball drops season opener to No. 4 Emory, 8-0

Marianne Specker '12 (photo by Sportspix)

ALTAMONTE SPRINGS, Fla. -- The Brandeis University softball team dropped its 2012 season opener today, 8-0, against defending University Athletic Association (UAA) champion Emory, the No. 4 team in the nation in the latest National Fastpitch Coaches Association Division III poll.

The Judges (0-1, 0-1 UAA), in their debut were at a disadvantage to a team playing its 19th game of the season. Brandeis got just two hits on the morning, a single by senior Marianne Specker (So. Windsor, Conn./Westminster School) in the top of the first and another by sophomore Melissa Nolan (Windsor, Conn./Loomis Chaffee) in the fourth frame. Dating back to last season, Specker has now hit in 14 straight games. 

Emory (18-1, 1-0 UAA) got all the scoring they would need in the bottom of the first on a sacrifice fly by 3B Sophia Tarte and a two-run home run by 1B Megan Light. Tarte added a solo home run in the third inning to make the score 4-0, and Emory added four more runs in the fifth on just two hits against Nolan to force the end of the game with the eight-run rule.

Brandeis senior Caroline Miller (Bala Cynwyd, Pa./Harriton) suffered the loss, allowing four earned runs on seven hits in three innings. She walked two and struck out two before giving way to Nolan. Emory's Lena Brotman fanned seven in five innings of work to earn the shutout and improve to 6-0 on the season. 

Brandeis is back in action at the UAA tournament tomorrow with games against the University of Rochester at 10 a.m. and Case Western Reserve University at 12:30 p.m.