WALTHAM, Mass. – The Brandeis University softball team dropped their final two regular-season home games today, as the Judges suffered 3-2 and 11-3 losses to Emory in University Athletic Association play. Brandeis, ranked 20th in Division III, finishes the regular season with a 27-6-1 record, 10-6 in the UAA, good for second place. Emory wins the UAA championship with a 30-10 record, 16-4 in the league.
The opener was a pitcher's duel, as the teams combined for just six hits – three each – over the first four innings. Emory opened the scoring in the first with a one-out double by second baseman Sarah Katz and a single to right by left fielder Sami Feller.
Brandeis answered in the third, when senior catcher Keri Lehtonen (Oneco, Conn./Plainfield) drew a leadoff walk. An error on rookie third baseman Marley Felder's (Miami, Fla./American Heritage School) bunt put runners on the corners with nobody out. After a lineout to center, Felder and Lehtonen executed a double steal play, with Lehtonen sliding under the Emory catcher's tag, tying the game, as Felder got back to first safely. Sophomore shortstop Jolie Fujita (Honolulu, Hawaii/Punahou School) followed with a single up the middle, but Emory starter Madeline Maday got a line-drive double play to first to get out of the inning.
Both teams stranded runners in the fourth before Brandeis took the lead in the fifth. Emory brought on yesterday's game one starter, Toko Miller to open the frame. Felder greeted her by pulling a 1-0 pitch out of the park to left field. It was her second blast of the season.
Emory answered in the top of the sixth. They loaded the bases with one out when first baseman Mattie Ryan laced a double to the right field wall. Brandeis was able to catch a runner out at third on the play, but two runs crossed the plate first to put the visitors ahead, 3-2.
Miller set down the side in order in the sixth and seventh to earn the win and clinch the UAA title. She improved to 9-2 on the season, while Todd fell to 12-4, giving up six hits and three earned runs in seven innings. She struck out two and walked three.
In the second game, Brandeis scored first on a two-run single by Lehtonen in the bottom of the first. The Judges had three hits in the frame, but would manage only three more the rest of the way, including a home run by senior Marissa DeLaurentis (Centereach, N.Y./St John the Baptist Diocesan) in the fifth in her final plate appearance at home.
In the interim, Emory scored 11 runs on 11 hits and three Brandeis errors against Judge rookie Sydney Goldman (Sherman Oaks, Calif./Notre Dame). The Eagles scored a run in the second on a leadoff home run by DP Greta Wilker. They took the lead for good with four two-out runs in the third. After loading the bases with two already gone, third baseman Natalie Arreguin sent a two-run double to right-centerfield. Pinch hitter Jessy McLean followed with a two-run single of her own to make if a 5-2 game.
The Eagles added three runs each in the fourth and fifth innings to put the game away early. First baseman Mattie Ryan delivered a two-run single in the fourth, while shortstop Cassie Baca hit a two-run triple in the fifth and scored on an overthrow.
Goldman suffered the loss, her second in a row after winning her first 13 decisions. Madison Schaefer matched Goldman for the UAA lead in wins with her 13th, as she is 13-4 on the season.
Brandeis and Emory will await postseason berths with their regular seasons complete. The NCAA selection announcement will be held Monday, May 6th.