NORTON, Mass. (taken from a Wheaton College press release) – The Brandeis University softball team saw its eight-game winning streak snapped at Wheaton College with a 3-2 loss in eight innings in the opener of a doubleheader, but the Judges bounced back with a 2-1 victory in the nightcap to salvage a split. Brandeis moves to 16-9, while Wheaton is now 17-11 overall.
Wheaton 3, Brandeis 2 (eight innings)
Wheaton sophomore Noelle Christmas (Plymouth, Mass./Plymouth South) spread out seven hits over eight innings pitched, gave up two runs (one earned), did not issue a free pass and struck out a game-high eight hitters to push her record to 7-2 on the season.
Brandeis senior Casey Ducinski (Duxbury, Mass./Duxbury) was dealt the loss on seven innings of work, five hits, three runs (two earned), four walks and five punchouts.
In the top of the eighth inning, Christmas kept the Judges offense at bay as she stranded the go-ahead run at third base with one out using a strikeout looking and a ground out to escape the jam. The Lyons took advantage of two fielding errors in the bottom half to walk-off with the victory. Junior Ashley Brillon (Attleboro, Mass./Bishop Feehan) scored the game-winning run after being placed at second base to start off the frame on a throwing error and a fielding error on the right side of the infield.
Brandeis tied the game with two outs in the top of the seventh on a fielding error that allowed Ducinski to score from second base. Ducinski led off the inning with a single and advanced to second on a throwing error. Ducinski also gave the Judges a 1-0 advantage in the second with an RBI double to left field plating junior Melissa Nolan (Windsor, Conn./Loomis Chaffee).
Wheaton reclaimed the lead in the third with back-to-back RBI doubles from freshman Emma Hart (Lincoln, R.I./Lincoln) and Brillon. Hart collected the only-multi hit game for the Lyons while Nolan went 2-for-4 for the Judges.
Brandeis 2, Wheaton 1
Nolan (5-2) helped Brandeis earn the split in game two tossing a four-hitter over seven innings, yielding one run (earned), two walks and two strikeouts.
Wheaton sophomore Emily Berardi (Boston, Mass./Boston Latin) suffered the loss on seven innings, eight hits, two runs (one earned), no walks and one strikeout.
The Lyons led first in the nightcap senior Jenna Rocha (Rehoboth, Mass./Dighton-Rehoboth) ripped a run-producing double down the left field line driving in junior Ashley Vertente (Fairhaven, Mass./Fairhaven) from second.
In the fourth, Nolan evened the score with an RBI single that caromed off of Berardi towards the left side of the infield. Sophomore Cori Coleman (Burr Ridge, Ill./Hinsdale South) scored the go-ahead run on a failed pickoff attempt at third base. Coleman singled earlier in the frame while freshman Madison Gagnon (Westlake Village, Calif./Westlake) doubled with two outs to keep the inning alive.
Wheaton travels to Clark University on Friday, April 12 for a New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) doubleheader matchup beginning at 3 p.m. Brandeis visits Endicott College for a twinbill on Thursday, April 11 at 3:30 p.m.