WORCESTER, Mass. (courtesy Clark sports information) – In a pair of old fashioned slugfests host Clark University and visiting Brandeis University each won a high scoring affair on Tuesday afternoon at O'Brien Field in non-league softball action. The Cougars won the first game, 9-8 by banging out 14 hits but the Judges took the nightcap, 7-5, with a 15-hit attack.
Clark wraps up its 2014 season at 12-20 overall while Brandeis (16-16) still has six games remaining on their docket beginning with Thursday's return to Worcester for a twinbill against Worcester State.
In the opener, Clark rallied from an early 3-0 deficit to take a lead and hold off the hard charging Judges. Madison Sullivan (Dover, N.H./Dover) drove in the game's first run in the first on a sacrifice fly and then Brandeis tacked on two more in the second on a Madison Gagnon (Westlake Village, Calif./Westlake) sacrifice fly and a Leah McWilliams (Billerica, Mass./Billerica Memorial) single through the left side.
The Cougars answered back with in the bottom of the second on an Alyssa Wright (Manchester, N.H.) bases loaded two-run double that was about three feet short of being a grand slam.
Clark was back at it in the third when Lauren Mackey (Dublin, N.H.) singled and Tatiana Chunis (Sutton, Mass.) reached base, putting runners on first and second with one out. Shawna Amatucci (Shrewsbury, Mass.) then crushed a monster three-run homer to give the hosts a 5-3 edge. The roundtripper for Amatucci was the 11th of her career, good for fifth on the all-time school list.
Brandeis regained the lead when they got a single run in the fourth on a McWilliams RBI single and then three more in the fifth highlighted by a Danielle Novotny (Milford, N.J./Delaware Valley) two-run double.
Down 7-5, the Scarlet and White went ahead when they scored three runs with two outs in the fifth. First, Melanie Dusseault (Auburn, N.H.) doubled home Chunis, who had reached on a double of her own. Then, with runners on first and second, Corrie Derosier (Shrewsbury, Mass.) stroked a double to the right center field fence, giving the Cougars an 8-7 advantage.
That lead look to be slipping away until some fantastic defense kept the Judges off the board in the sixth. Brandeis loaded the bases with one out following singles by McWilliams, Liana Moss (Agoura Hills, Calif./Agoura) and Sullivan. Anya Kamber (Sammamish, Wash./Skyline) hit a low lying laser that looked to be headed for the gap but Derosier raced towards right field from her spot in center and made an incredible diving catch and then fired a strike back into the infield to keep a run from scoring. She then recorded the inning's final out to keep the score, 8-7.
Clark added a much needed insurance run in the sixth on an Amatucci groundout. That run would prove to be the difference after a Novotny leadoff double for Brandeis was followed by a McWilliams RBI double to close the game to 9-8. Dusseault, however, was able to retire Moss with a flyout to left to end the game.
McWilliams had a banner game at the plate, going 4-for-4 with a double and three RBI, while Novotny went 3-for-4 with three runs scored and two doubles.
Derosier, Mackey, Rachel Kraytenberg (Londonderry, N.H.), Hayley Buckheit (Camden Hills, Maine) and Dusseault all had two hits for the Cougars and Amatucci drove in four runs.
Moss was the difference in game two, going 4-for-5 with three doubles and two RBI for the victorious Judges.
Down 1-0 following a Novotny RBI single in the first, Clark pushed three runs across in the bottom of the inning highlighted by a Kraytenberg single that scored Derosier.
Brandeis answered back immediately with three runs in the second as Moss notched an RBI double and Novotny drove in a run on an infield single.
Moss was at it again in the third. After McWilliams reached on a fielding error, she doubled to left, making the game, 5-3.
Clark cut into the lead when Wright walked and then scored on a Mackey triple in the third.
Moss sparked some magic for the Judges in the fifth when she smacked a two out double and then scampered home on a Cori Coleman (Burr Ridge, Ill.) single up the middle.
Brandeis added a run in the sixth when Sullivan scored on a Gagnon single to right.
The Cougars still had life when Derosier walked to lead off the seventh then moved to second on a wild pitch. Wright hit a ball that looked like it would sneak through the right side but McWilliams made a diving stop. Wright was able to beat her throw to the bag however, and Derosier, who never stopped running scored from second, scored, making it a 7-5 game.
Nikki Cote (Shelton, Conn.) was able to get a key double play turned and then she made a great stab on a liner back through the box by Chunis to end the game.
Kraytenberg went 3-for-4 for the Cougars in the final game, while Wright was 2-for-4 with two runs scored.
In addition to Moss, Novotny had three hits and two RBI for Brandeis.