WALTHAM, Mass.- Led by sophomore center fielder Amanda Genovese (North Haven, Conn./ North Haven) and senior Casey Ducinski (Duxbury, Mass./ Duxbury), Brandeis University softball earned a split with the Eastern Connecticut State University Warriors. The Judges lost the first contest 3-0 before winning the nightcap 7-3 as they move to 23-15 on the year while the Warriors go to 26-12.
With three steals in the two contests, Genovese broke the career record for stolen bases at Brandeis with 73, surpassing Melissa Cagar's '11 career mark. She has 51 stolen bases this season. She is only the fourteenth player in Division III history with 50 or more steals and is currently tied for 10th for the most steals in a season.
In the first contest, ECSU, ranked eighth in New England, was propelled by stellar pitching from sophomore Erin Miller (Waterford, Conn./ Waterford). She hurled a four-hit shutout while walking one and striking out two as she improved to 11-2 on the season with the 3-0 victory. The Warriors got all the scoring they needed in the top of the first when senior 1B Kelly Paterson (Southington, Conn./ Southington) singled home junior center fielder Mattie Brett (Waterford, Conn./ Waterford). ECSU would extend their lead in the fifth with a solo home run by senior 3B Arielle Cooper (Mystic, Conn./ R.E. Fitch Sr.) and completed their scoring in seventh on an RBI single from junior left fielder Megan Godwin (Manchester, Conn./ Manchester).
Junior 2B Leah McWilliams (Billerica, Mass./ Billerica Memorial) led the Judges offensively with a 1-for-2 performance while Genovese added one steal after reaching on an error. Junior starter Melissa Nolan (Windsor, Conn./ Loomis Chaffee) fell to 9-5 on the season after seven innings where she allowed three runs on seven hits with three walks and no strikeouts.
The Warriors were led by offensively by Cooper who went 2-for-4 with two runs, an RBI, and a long solo shot to right-center field.
In the second game, it was Ducinski's pitching that led Brandeis to their 7-3 win. After shutting ECSU out for the first three frames, Ducinski allowed the Warriors to tie the game at 1-1 in the fourth. The Judges' bats responded in the bottom of the frame by putting up four runs on four hits while taking advantage of two costly ECSU errors. With one out and runners on second and third, sophomore Cori Coleman (Burr Ridge, Ill./ Hinsdale South) executed a squeeze bunt to perfection as classmate shortstop Anya Kamber (Sammamish, Wash./ Skyline) raced home from third. Then, when the pitcher overthrew first, rookie 3B Madison Sullivan scored as well to put Brandeis up 3-1. After a single and a sacrifice bunt, Genovese was up and her grounder to short forced a hurried throw that allowed two more runs to score and give the Judges a 5-1 lead. Genovese stole second and third in that inning to break the record but did not score. After the Warriors cut the lead to 5-3 in the sixth, Brandeis responded again with two insurance runs on RBI singles from Genovese and Ducinski in the bottom half of the inning as the Judges went on to win 7-3.
Ducinski improved to 9-6 after her complete game. She allowed three runs on seven hits with no walks and four strikeouts. Genovese was the offensive leader going 3-for-4 with a run, two RBI, two stolen bases, and her first career home run, a solo shot to right in the third. Ducinski was 2-for-3 with a double and an RBI while rookie 1B Jordan Buscetto (Old Lyme, Conn./ Old Lyme) was 2-for-3 with a run scored.
ECSU's starter, senior Christine Akcer (Milford, Conn./ Jonathan Law), fell to 7-4 on the year after three inning of work, allowing five runs (three earned) on seven hits with no walks and two strikeouts. The Warriors were led offensively by Brett who went 2-for-4 with a run and Paterson who was 1-for-2 with a run, two RBI, and a solo homer to deep center in the fourth.
The Judges continue their season at MIT on Wednesday May 1st with game one scheduled to being at 3:30 p.m. ECSU continues with their conference tournament on Thursday May 2nd at noon against UMass-Boston.