April 7, 2013

Genovese sets single-season steal record in sweep of Lasell

WALTHAM, Mass. – Brandeis University sophomore centerfielder Amanda Genovese (North Haven, Conn./North Haven) set the Judges' single-season stolen bases record as they defeated local rivals Lasell College, 9-2 and 8-0, on Marcus Field today. Genovese went 2-for-4 with a run scored and a stolen base in each end of the non-conference softball doubleheader.

      Genovese, who singled to lead off both ends of the twinbill, followed up each hit with a steal of second. She tied Melisa Cagar '11's single-season record of 32 in the first game and broke the mark in the second contest. Each time, Genovese also came around to score the first run of the contest.

Genovese broke the record in Brandeis's 23rd game of the season. With 20 more games on the schedule and Genovese's career total up to 55 stolen bases, Cagar's career mark of 72 is within reach this season. Cagar set her record as a junior and missed her senior season with an injury.

In today's games, Brandeis outhit Lasell by a combined 23-7 mark. The Judges had one big second inning in each game. In the opener, it was a six-run frame in which five of the runs were unearned due to a pair of costly Lasell errors. The big blows were a leadoff home run by sophomore DP Nikki Cote (Shelton, Conn./St. Josephs), her second round-tripper of the season, and a two-run double by sophomore SS Anya Kamber (Sammamish, Wash./Skyline).

Cote's bomb proved to be the game-winning run, as Lasell scored single runs against her in the fourth and fifth innings. Cote kept the damage down in the fourth after walking the first two hitters and allowing a single to load the bases. She got a grounder to third that produced a force out at home for the first out before Laser rookie 1B Eileen Bergin (Arlington, Mass./Matignon) singled to right to spoil the shutout bid. Cote then got two strikeouts to avoid further damage. In the fifth, sophomore LF Amanda Szidat (Westford, Mass./Westford Acad.) reached on a bunt single with two away and scored on rookie 3B Nicole LeBlanc's (Easton, Mass./Oliver Ames) double to right-center to avoid the mercy rule.

Cote (5-4) settled down after than, retiring the final seven Lasell hitters to earn the win in relief of senior Casey Ducinski (Duxbury, Mass./Duxbury). Ducinski faced two over the minimum in her three innings of work allowing one hit and one batter to reach on an error.

In game two, Brandeis junior Melissa Nolan (Windsor, Conn./Loomis Chafee) held the Lasers to just two hits in a five-inning complete game. Nolan moved to 4-2 on the season as she struck out four and walked just one.

After Brandeis scored twice in the first, in the key five-run second inning, all of the Judges' runs came home on two hits. Rookie 3B Madison Gagnon (Westlake Village, Calif./Westlake) scorched a bases-loaded double to right-center that made it a 4-0 game. Up next was sophomore catcher Cori Coleman (Burr Ridge, Ill./Hinsdale South), who slammed a three-run home run to left field. It was Coleman's second round-tripper of the season and of her career and made the score 7-0, Brandeis.

After Bergin settled down in the third and fourth innings, the Judges loaded the bases in the fifth on an error, a walk and a bunt single. Bergin got the next batter on a pop to third base, but rookie 2B Danielle Novotny (Milford, N.J./Delaware Valley) skied a ball to left for a game-ending sacrifice fly.

That completed a fine day for Novotny, who went 4-7 with three doubles, giving her 11 two-baggers on the season. She scored a team-high four runs on the afternoon and drove in three, increasing her team-leading total to 22 RBI. Coleman led the Judges with four runs knocked in during the twinbill, finishing 3-7 with two runs scored and her home run as well.

Brandeis returns to action on Tuesday afternoon when they travel to Wheaton College to take on coach Jessica Johnson's alma mater at 3:30 p.m. Lasell hosts Norwich University in a GNAC twinbill the same day at 3 p.m.