BRONX, N.Y. – The Brandeis University softball split a University Athletic Association (UAA) doubleheader today at New York University. The Judges' battery-mates helped them combined for a 5-0 shutout in the opener, but a late rally fell just short in the nightcap, 4-3. Brandeis moves to 9-15 overall, 2-6 in the UAA, while NYU is now 15-13, 2-4 UAA.
HOW IT HAPPENED – Game 1 (Brandeis 5-0)
- Sophomore pitcher Scottie Todd (Tampa, Fla./Strawberry Crest) tossed her second shutout of the season and junior catcher Keri Lehtonen (Oneco, Conn./Plainsville) drove in all five runs as the Judges won their third-straight contest.
- Todd scattered seven hits over seven innings, striking out six and walking just one to improve to 5-5 on the season.
- The shutout was the fourth of her career.
- Todd also went 3-4 at the plate with a run scored.
- The big bat of the day belonged to Lehtonen, who was also 3-4 with a home run, a double and five RBI, tying her career-high.
- Lehtonen provided all the offense the Judges would need in the second inning, when she blasted a two-out grand slam.
- It was her second home run of the season and the eighth of her career. She had one previous grand slam, also against a UAA opponent, Case Western Reserve, during her rookie season.
- Lehtonen would add an RBI single in the fourth inning to match her career single-game high in RBI.
HOW IT HAPPENED – Game 2 (NYU, 4-3)
- The Violets struck for four runs in the first two innings and held off a Brandeis rally in the top of the seventh to earn the split.
- NYU got half of their six hits against Brandeis sophomore Callie MacDonald (Hanover, Mass./Hanover) in the first inning. CF Diana King led off with a walk and stole second, then scored on a double by Caroline Saccacio.
- Two batters later, RF Ashley Mains tripled to make it 2-0, and LF Claire Stefanelli singled to increase the lead to three.
- Brandeis answered back with a run in the top of the 2nd on an RBI double by rookie SS Jolie Fujita (Honolulu, Hawaii/Punahou School), but the Violets got that run back on a King RBI double in the bottom of the frame.
- MacDonald settled down in the circle after that, retiring 14 of the last 15 NYU batters.
- The Judges had their first chance to cut into the 4-1 deficit in the fifth inning when they loaded the bases with two outs, but starter Cassi Parulis got a fly ball to center to end the threat.
- Brandeis broke through in the seventh. An error and a single put runners on the corners with none out. Parulis got Lehtonen to fly out for the first out, but rookie LF Bridget Cifuni (Georgetown, Mass./Brooks School) singled home a run to chase the starter and cut the deficit to 4-2 with runners on first and second.
- Reliever Scarlett Murphy induced a grounder that put both runners into scoring position with two away. Murphy then uncorked a wild pitch that made it 4-3 with the winning run on third, but she got another grounder to first base to end the game.
- Fujita (2-3, R, RBI, 2B) and senior 1B Amanda Shore (San Jose, Calif./Archbishop Mitty) (2-3, BB) were multiple hitters for the Judges.
- King (2-2, R, RBI, 2B, 2 SB) was the only multiple hitter for NYU.
- Parulis improved to 4-2 on the season after allowing three runs (one earned) in 6.1 innings of work. She struck out four and walked one. Murphy earned her first save of the season.
- MacDonald fell to 3-9 despite holding NYU to six hits over six innings, giving four earned runs. She walked one and struck out one.
- The teams will meet for two more games tomorrow at 1 p.m.