WALTHAM, Mass. – The Brandeis University softball team had a dramatic walk-off split today, as the Judges rallied to defeat Bowdoin College, 6-5, in the nightcap of a non-conference doubleheader after the Polar Bears played long ball for a 9-0 win in the opener. Brandeis's record stays even at 13-13, while Bowdoin moves to 26-12 after having a five-game winning streak snapped.
After getting blanked in the opener, Brandeis fell behind early in the second game as well, on one-out RBI singles by 1B Katie Gately (Rehoboth, Mass./Moses Brown School) in the second and pitcher Julia Geaumont (Saco, Maine/Thornton Acad.) in the third. Brandeis sophomore Samantha Wroblewski (Delray Beach, Fla./Spanish River) avoided further damage in both frames, picking up three key strikeouts with runners in scoring position each time.
The Judges finally broke through against hurler Geaumont in the bottom of the fourth. Senior SS Anya Kamber (Sammamish, Wash./Skyline) double to center to start the frame, then scored when the ball was overrun on junior 3B Madison Sullivan (Dover, N.H./Dover) singled to center. After a hit batter, a sharp liner to third and a fielder's choice to the hot corner, junior 1B Jordan Buscetto (Old Lyme, Conn./Old Lyme) hit a ball to second that stayed down when the fielder expected a bounce into her glove, loading the bases. Junior 2B Madison Gagnon (Westlake Village, Calif./Westlake) singled up the middle tying the game at 2-2.
After a scoreless fifth, the lead changed hands in each of the next four at-bats. Bowdoin jumped back on top in the sixth, as Gately struck again, picking up her fifth RBI of the day. She plated home pinch runner Siena Mitman (Mequon, Wis./Homestead), who had stolen second after coming on for Nicole Nelson.
In the bottom of the inning, senior catcher Cori Coleman (Burr Ridge, Ill./Hinsdale South), who had hit the ball sharply a few times on the day with nothing to show, blasted a Geaumont offering to right field to tie the game at 3-3. The Judges then strung together three straight singles, with sophomore Danielle Novotny (Milford, N.J./Delaware Valley) flaring one the opposite way to left to put Brandeis ahead for the first time on the day. Geaumont issued a walk to load the bases, but got two infield grounder to keep it one-run game.
In the seventh, Geaumont took matters into her own hands. After Wroblewski issued her first walk of the contest, Geaumont blasted her third home run of the day and eighth of the season to put Bowdoin back on top, 5-4, setting up a dramatic bottom of the inning.
Sophomore DP Allison Hecht (Melville, N.Y./Half Hollow Hills East) doubled to right to start the inning, with classmate Madison Hunter (Parker, Colo./Legend) coming on to run for her. Coleman followed and stung one down the first-base line that went off the first-baseman's glove, putting runners on the corners. Coleman then stole second to get both runners in scoring position.
Geaumont got the first out of the inning on a hard liner back to the circle, but issued a walk to Buscetto to load the bases. The second out of the inning came from Gagnon, but her deep fly ball to right produced a run and allowed Coleman to move to third. With runners on the corners and two down, Buscetto stole second attempting to draw a throw. When the ball got past middle infielders, Coleman was able to dash home and score the winning run, giving the Judges a split.
Wroblewski and Geaumont both pitched to contact on the day, as both allowed 12 hits and five earned runs. Wroblewski struck out eight, two shy of her season-high, and walked just one, improving to 6-10 on the season. Geaumont had one K and two walks, falling to 15-4. She had won her last seven decisions.
Bowdoin took advantage of windy conditions to slug six home runs in the first game – three two-run shots and three solo blasts. Gately and Geaumont each had two homers, a solo and two-run job apiece. Nicole Nelson added a solo strike, while Cielle Collins had a two-run bomb in the sixth. The Polar Bears had three round-trippers in the sixth, with Gately leading off going to left, Collins going to right-center three batters later and Geaumont getting the visitors to the eight-run rule after two more hitters.
Emily Griffin (Tucson, Ariz./Salpoint Catholic) earned the win, holding Brandeis to just four hits with no walks or strikeouts. She improved to 9-5 on the season with her fourth shutout.
Brandeis starter Nikki Cote (Shelton, Conn./St. Joseph's School) suffered her first loss in five decisions, giving up seven hits and four runs while striking out six in three innings of work. Brandeis got two hits each from Gagnon and Sullivan, who had two doubles.
The Judges are back in action this weekend with games at Babson tomorrow and at home against Framingham State on Sunday at 10 a.m.