Brandeis softball puts four on All-Region team

WALTHAM, Mass. – Four members of the Brandeis University softball team have been selected to the National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) All-New England team. Leading the way, senior centerfielder Lauren Porcaro of Shrewsbury, Mass. earned second-team honors. Outfielder Amanda Genovese of New Haven, Conn., shortstop Brittany Grimm of Perkiomenville, Pa., and 1B Marianne Specker of So. Windsor, Conn., were third-team members. All four were previously named University Athletic Association (UAA) all-stars as well.

Porcaro finished tied for second in the UAA with eight home runs this season. She finished second on the team with 16 stolen bases, 19 extra-base hits, third with 36 RBI and a .606 slugging percentage and fourth with a career-high .352 batting average. She posted a team-high 11 multi-RBI games during the season and was fourth with 14 multi-hit games. Porcaro finished her career sixth on Brandeis's career home run list with 16. This was her first All-New England selection.

Genovese, who was previously named Brandeis's first UAA Rookie of the Year in softball, led the Judges with a .417 batting average and a .457 on-base. Her 44 runs and 22 stolen bases scored led the UAA, tying for sixth and third, respectively, on Brandeis's all-time single-season lists. Genovese also finished third in the UAA in batting average and fourth in OBP. Genovese raised her final batting average 27 points by closing the season with an eight-game hitting streak, going 16 for 31 (.516) with nine runs scored and five stolen bases over that span, including 13 for 22 (.591) in the Judges' ECAC tournament run.

This is Grimm's second All-New England selection, having earned first-team honors as a sophomore. Grimm led the team and the UAA with 61 hits, 101 total bases and a .687 slugging percentage. She tied with teammate Specker for the lead on the Judges and in the conference with 41 RBI, while her 17 doubles and 38 runs scored were second in the UAA. The 17 doubles were tied for the second-best single-season mark, while her 16 hits were tied for third and her 41 RBI were tied for fifth. Grimm tied Genovese with 20 multi-hit games and 10-game hitting streak. Grimm finished her career as one of the top players in school history, placing second in career hits (188), third in total bases (278), fourth in runs scored (121) and fifth in RBI (105) while hitting .366 in four years as one of just six players to play in 160 games for the Judges.

Specker is also a two-time All-New England selection who was a first-team honoree in 2010. She was also a first-team All-UAA member. She finished tied for the UAA and team lead with 41 RBI, the fifth-highest total in a season in school history. She was among the top five in the league in batting average (.401) and hits (59). Specker finished among the Judges' career top 10 in hits (184, 3rd), games played (166, 4th), games started (161, 4th), RBI (111, 4th), total bases (242, 6th) and doubles (34, 8th). Specker was also a two-time first-team Academic All-American, the first student-athlete in school history to earn that honor twice.

Overall this season under head coach Jessica Johnson, the Judges went 27-18 and earned the top seed in the Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) Division III New England tournament. The Judges finished as tournament runners-up for the second year in a row and the third time in four years.

Porcaro is a 2008 graduate of Shrewsbury High School. She is the daughter of Mike and Tracy Porcaro, Shrewsbury, Mass.

Genovese is a 2011 graduate of North Haven High School. She is the daughter of Mark and Caren Genovese, North Haven, Conn.

Grimm is a 2008 graduate of Perkiomen Valley High School. She is the daughter of Kevin and Marie Grimm, Perkiomenville, Pa.

Specker is a 2008 graduate of the Westminster School. She is the daughter of Ken and Carol Specker, Windsor, Conn.