Specker drives in 10 in softball sweep of Lasell

Marianne Specker '12 (photo by Sportspix)
Marianne Specker '12 (photo by Sportspix)

WALTHAM, Mass. – Over the course of two games today, Brandeis senior 1B Marianne Specker (So. Windsor, Conn./Westminster School) drove in 10 runs as the Judges defeated local rivals Lasell College, 20-1 in five innings in the opener and 8-3 in the nightcap. The Judges won their fifth game in a row to improve to 10-8 on the season, while the Lasers fall to 4-20.

      In the first game, Specker set a career-high with seven RBI, helping the Judges to match their highest offensive output and established the largest margin of victory in head coach Jessica Johnson's six-year tenure with the program. Specker went 2-for-4 and scored two runs. She hit a three-run triple in the second inning that took advantage of an outfield shifted expecting her to go the other way. Specker reached on an error in the third inning that produced two runs, and in the fourth, she blasted a grand slam, Brandeis's first since last March 26. It was her first home of the season and the fifth of her career. The seven RBI are the most in a game by a Brandeis player since at least 2004. In game two, Specker went 1-for-3 with a three-run double that opened the scoring in the third inning.

      The Judges' other top offensive performance was turned in by sophomore 2B Leah McWilliams (Billerica, Mass./Billerica Memorial), who reached base in all seven of her plate appearances. McWilliams had six hits in six at-bats, going 3-for-3 in each game, along with a walk in the first contest. She scored three runs in both games and drove in three in the first and two more in the second. Senior Lauren Porcaro (Shrewsbury, Mass./Shrewsbury) doubled in both games, giving her a team-leading six on the season, while senior Caroline Miller (Bala Cynwyd, Pa./Harriton) smacked her third home run of the season in the first contest.

      In the circle for Brandeis, Miller struck out six and allowed two hits in three innings of game one to earn the win, improving to 5-4 on the season. In the nightcap, sophomore Melissa Nolan (Windsor, Conn./Loomis Chaffee) tossed seven innings of four-hit ball, giving up three earned runs. She fanned eight and walked four, improving to 3-1 in the process.

      For Lasell on the afternoon, rookie 3B Mary Fontaine (Nashua, N.H./Nashua South) hit a home run in the fourth inning of game one, spoiling Brandeis's shutout bid. It was her second of the season. Junior LF Candace Hankard (Wakefield, Mass./Wakefield Memorial) had a two-run double for the Lasers in game two, while senior 1B Jaqui Saluti (Braintree, Mass./Braintree) also had a double and was the visitors' only multiple hitter on the day. Jaqui's sister Alison suffered the loss for Lasell in the second game, allowing eight runs (seven earned) on nine hits and two walks in six innings. She struck out three.

      Brandeis returns to action tomorrow afternoon against Suffolk University at 3:30 p.m. Lasell is at Mount Ida for a GNAC doubleheader Friday at 3:00 p.m.