SOFTBALL TOPS CASE, 5-2, TAKES #8 EMORY TO EXTRAS BEFORE FALLING, 5-4
ALTAMONTE SPRINGS, Fla. – The Brandeis University softball team posted one victory at the University Athletic Association tournament today, defeating Case Western Reserve, 5-2, before extending eighth-ranked Emory to extra innings but ultimately falling, 5-4.
In the opener against Case, senior catcher Cori Coleman (Burr Ridge, Ill./Hinsdale South) was the hero for the Judges, going 3-for-4 with a home run, two doubles and three RBI.
Brandeis fell behind when Spartan pitcher Annie Wennerberg helped her own cause by launching a two-run home run after RF Ashley Parello led off with a double. Coleman responded in the top of the fourth, launching her first home run of the season and the sixth of her career, cutting the deficit to 2-1.
Coleman sparked the game-tying rally in the sixth inning, stroking her first double of the game to right-centerfield with one out. Classmate Nathasha Quiroz (Bronx, N.Y./IN-Tech Acad.) came on to pinch run and moved to third on a passed ball. Senior 1B Jordan Buscetto (Old Lyme, Conn./Old Lyme) followed by dropping a ball down the right-field line to knot the score at 2-2.
Brandeis sophomore Samantha Wroblewski (Delray Beach, Calif./Spanish River) got some help from her defense in the bottom of the inning. With one away, Case put runners on first and second after a walk and a single up the middle. The third batter was Wennerberg, who dropped a ball into centerfield, but senior Amanda Genovese (North Haven, Conn./North Haven) came up throwing and fired the lead runner out at third.
The big play set up more Coleman heroics in the seventh. The Judges loaded the bases on a singles by sophomore LF Leah Shapiro (Beverly Hills, Calif./Beverly Hills) and senior SS Anya Kamber (Sammamish, Wash./Skyline) and walk to junior 3B Madison Sullivan (Dover, N.H./Dover). With two away, Coleman laced her second double of the game and fourth of the season to left field, driving in the winning runs. Sullivan would come home on an error to close out the scoring. Wroblewski gave up an error and a walk in the bottom of the seventh but got two fly balls to Genovese in center to close out the game. She improved to 3-4 on the season with her fourth complete game of the season, allowing two runs on six hits, with two walks and one strikeout.
In their second game against No. 8 Emory, the Judges trailed early, as Eagle 2B Hannah Sendel hit a solo home run – her record seventh of the tournament - in the first against sophomore Melissa Soleimani (Somerset, Mass./Somerset Berkley Regional), while 1B Ashley Powers hit a two-run shot in the fourth. EU added a key insurance run on an RBI single by Alyssa Pollard. Soleimani walked two more Emory hitters to load the bases, but got a comebacker to the circle to avoid further damage.
Brandeis put multiple runners on base in each of the first five innings against Emory, but were unable to break through until the sixth. Coleman was the spark again, singling to centerfield to start the frame before sophomore Madison Hunter (Parker, Colo./Legend) took Eagle starter Audrey Weller deep to left field. It was Hunter's first round-tripper of the season and the third of her career.
The Judges kept the inning going when Buscetto struck out but reached on a wild pitch. Rookie Amanda Shore (San Jose, Calif./Archbishop Mitty) singled to right before Weller got the first out. Shapiro reached on an Emory error, but Buscetto was gunned down at the plate trying to score from second on the overthrow.
With runners on the corners, the Judges executed a double steal when Shore came home as the Emory catcher dropped the ball while Shapiro took second. Now trailing by just one, junior 2B Madison Gagnon (Westlake Village, Calif./Westlake) delivered a single left that brought Shapiro home with the tying run. Emory made several defensive changes at that point, including Sydney Carpenter coming on to pitch, and she escaped further damage with a strikeout.
Wroblewski kept the Eagles at bay in the sixth, allowing just a single back to the circle, and in the seventh, when she hit a batter with one out, but got the next Eagle to line to Sullivan at third for a 5-3 double play. The Judges were retired in order in the seventh. In extra innings, they went quietly in the top of the eighth. (The UAA doesn't put the international tie-breaker into effect until the 10th inning.) In the bottom of the frame, Emory RF Amy Wray reached on an error, moved to second on a passed ball and scored on the game-winning double by Powers.
Brandeis finished the day at 6-6 overall, 3-6 in the UAA. The Judges will close out the tournament against #23 Washington University.