April 25, 2013

Softball splits 2-1 decisions with Worcester State

WALTHAM, Mass. – The Brandeis and Worcester State softball teams each picked up a 2-1 win in a non-conference doubleheader today on Marcus Field. Brandeis scored two sixth-inning runs to come from behind in the opener. In game two, the Lancers scored two unearned runs in the second inning and hung on for the split. The Judges are now 21-13, WSU is 19-14.

In the opening game, the squads combined for just seven hits, three for the Lancers and four for the Judges. Both sides went in order in the first two innings before the visitors broke through for an unearned run against Brandeis junior Melissa Nolan (Windsor, Conn./Loomis Chafee) in the third. With one away, Worcester State senior SS Aimee Lamourieux (E. Brookfield, Mass./David Prouty) reached on an error.

Rookie RF Sara Pelletier (Leominster, Mass./Leominster) followed with a single to right, and a bobble in the outfield allowed Lamourieux to move to third. After Pelletier stole second, sophomore LF Katie Storro (Leominster, Mass./Leominster) plated Lamoureux with the game's first run on a grounder to second. Nolan got a strikeout to strand Pelletier at third.

Worcester State pitcher Meghan Rich (Chelmsford, Mass./Chelmsford) worked out of a jam in the third, when she loaded the bases on a hit batter, a single and a walk, but got rookie RF Danielle Novotny (Medford, N.J./Delaware Valley) on a comebacker to the circle.

The Judges finally broke through in the sixth, with rookie CF Amanda Genovese (North Haven, Conn./North Haven) acting as the catalyst once again. Genovese singled up the middle, then moved to second on a swinging bunt by senior Casey Ducinski (Duxbury, Mass./Duxbury). Novotny came through with an RBI single to center on the first pitch she saw, as Genovese just slid under the tag at the plate on a fine throw by WSU sophomore Taylor Hanley (Wilmington, Mass./Wilmington). Novotny, who moved to second on the throw, scored two batters later on a bounding ball hit through the middle by sophomore SS Anya Kamber (Sammamish, Wash./Skyline) that proved to be the game-winning run.

Nolan improved to 9-3 on the season for the Judges with a three-hitter. She struck out six without a walk, and allowed just the one unearned run. The three hits she gave up were a season-low for a seven-inning appearance. Rich suffered the loss for the Lancers, falling to 9-5, despite allowing just four hits of her own, as WSU's six-game winning streak came to a halt. Brandeis's Genovese (2-3, R, SB) and WSU's Pelletier (2-2, SB) were both multiple hitters.

In game two, there were a few more hits, but no more runs scored. Worcester State's two runs came in the second inning and were both unearned. Ducinski, who started in the nightcap for the Judges, got the first two hitters out before rookie 2B Hayley Terry (N. Dighton, Mass./Dighton Rehoboth) reached on a single to right-center field. Lancer junior catcher Hillary Hart (Clinton, Mass./Clinton) was grazed by a pitch to put runners on first and second.

Sophomore pitcher Katie Roy (Worcester, Mass./Burncoat) followed with the key play of the inning, as she lofted a ball to right-center field. As Genovese and Novotny converged on the ball, it glanced off Novotny's glove and fell in, allowing Terry to score. Ducinski issued a walk to load the bases, and Lamoureaux followed with a single to right, giving the visitors a 2-0 lead.

After Roy retired the first 10 Brandeis batters, the Judges finally got to her in the bottom of the fourth. With one out, Ducinski helped her own cause by doubling to the fence in right. Novotny singled off the third-baseman's glove and stole second, putting two runners in scoring position. Nolan cut the lead in half with a ground out to second, but Roy got a comebacker from Kamber to leave the tying run at third.

Brandeis put runners on base in each of their next three at-bats, but each time it came after Roy retired the first two batters, and the Judges were unable to get a timely hit. Roy earned the win to move to 5-2 for WSU, while Ducinski fell to 7-6. Both hurlers went seven innings and allowed six hits with two Ks. Roy's lone run allowed was earned, while both of Ducinski's were unearned. Multiple hitters were Novotny (2-3, SB) and rookie DP Jordan Buscetto (Old Lyme, Conn./Old Lyme) for the Judges and Lamoureaux (2-4, RBI) for the Lancers.

Brandeis returns to action at home for a Saturday afternoon doubelheader at noon against Bowdoin College, while Worcester State hosts Westfield State in a MASCAC twinbill at the same time.