CLERMONT, Fla. – The Brandeis softball team suffered its first loss of the 2013 season today, as the Judges dropped an 8-2 decision to Haverford College at the National Softball Training Center. The Judges fall to 4-1 as they embark on the University Athletic Association tournament. The Fords improve to 5-1.
Haverford jumped out to a 2-0 lead three batters into the game when Jen DiCandilo blasted a two-run home run off of Brandeis sophomore starter Nikki Cote (Shelton, Conn./St. Joseph's). The Judges got the runs back in the bottom of the second on RBI singles by sophomore catcher Cori Coleman (Burr Ridge, Ill. / Hinsdale South) and sophomore RF Amanda Genovese (North Haven, Conn./North Haven).
The Fords broke the game open in the top of the fourth inning. 2B Jill Schnall took Cote deep for the second time in the contest with a runner aboard to snap the 2-2 tie. Two Brandeis errors and a DiCandilo single later, 1B Dayle Comerford drove Cote from the game with a bases-clearing triple that made the score 7-2. Junior reliever Melissa Nolan (Windsor, Conn./Loomis Chafee) retired the side in the inning, allowing an inherited runner to score on an infield out, but the damage had been done.
The six-run lead was more than enough for HC pitcher Sara Tauriello, who allowed just one batter past first base the rest of the way, when Genovese singled and stole second and third in the fifth inning. The Fords' hurler was nearly untouchable the rest of the way, retiring seven of the final eight batters by way if strikeout. She ended up with 15 strikeouts for the game, setting a Haverford single-game record in the process.
Brandeis opens UAA tournament play Tuesday against nationally-ranked squads from Emory and Washington University in Altamonte Springs, Fla.