WALTHAM, Mass. – The Brandeis University softball team moved over .500 for the first time since early March today as the Judges swept a doubleheader from Framingham State with a pair of late home runs keying both wins. The Judges hit two homers in the sixth for a 5-2 win in Game 1, and a two-run job in the fifth was the deciding hit in a 4-2 win in Game 2. Brandeis is now 16-14, while FSU falls to 13-19.
In Game 1, Framingham State jumped out of the gate quickly, as rookie LF Dayna Marchant (E. Bridgewater, Mass./E. Bridgewater) singled with one out and sophomore 3B Tiffanie Marsh (Tewksbury, Mass./Tewksbury) connected on a two-run home run. That would be the only damage the Rams would do, as Brandeis senior Nikki Cote (Shelton, Conn./St. Josephs) allowed just one runner past second base the rest of the way.
Brandeis cut the lead in half in the bottom of the first on an RBI single by senior catcher Cori Coleman (Burr Ridge, Ill./Hinsdale South). The Judges couldn't quite get to FSU junior starter and Waltham product Natasha Arseneau (Waltham, Mass./Waltham), stranding two runners on base in four of the first five innings.
The hosts finally broke through in the bottom of the sixth, when junior 2B Madison Gagnon (Westlake Village, Calif./Westlake) lofted a one-out solo homer to center field, tying the game at 2-2. It was her first of the season and third of her career.
After Arseneau got the second out, sophomore LF Leah Shapiro (Beverly Hills, Calif./Beverly Hills) singled and senior SS Anya Kamber (Sammamish, Wash./Skyline) doubled to put two runners in scoring position. Both had no trouble scoring when junior 3B Madison Sullivan (Dover, N.H./Dover) blasted a shot to center, her team-leading fifth home run of the season and the ninth of her career. Four of Sullivan's five round-trippers have come since April 14.
Cote gave up a harmless single to the Rams in the seventh, but finished them off to improve to 5-1 on the season. It was her third complete game of the campaign, as she allowed just the two earned runs on six hits, striking out six and walking just one. Arseneau fell to 7-10 with her eighth CG of the year, giving up 11 hits and five earned runs. She walked two and struck out two.
Shapiro, Kamber and Gagnon each had two hits for the Judges, while Marchant was the only multiple hitter for Framingham State.
In the second game, FSU again took an early lead, this time against Brandeis sophomore Samantha Wroblewski (Delray Beach, Fla./Spanish River). Marchant singled with one out, and after a Brandeis error put runners on first and second, sophomore 1B Kylie Boyle (Billerica, Mass./Billerica) singled to give the Rams the 1-0 lead. Wroblewski got a strikeout and comebacker in the circle to prevent any further damage, and didn't give up another hit until the sixth inning.
Brandeis tied the game in the third, loading the bases on singles by Danielle Novotny (Milford, N.J./Delaware Valley), Amanda Shore (San Diego, Calif./Archbishop Mitty) and Kamber. Sullivan hit a sacrifice fly to center to even the score. Marsh, who started in the circle for the Rams, got a strikeout to limit the damage.
The Judges got a runner to second in the fourth inning, but she was called out for leaving the base early to end the frame. In the fifth, Novotny led off with a double, and one out later, came home when Shore launched her fourth home run of the campaign. Kamber and Sullivan followed with back-to-back doubles, making the score 4-1.
Arseneau came on to get the final two outs of the inning, ending the frame on a missed squeeze play. FSU rookie Holly Greet went deep with one out in the top of the sixth, but Wroblewski worked around singles in the sixth and seventh to complete the sweep.
Wroblewski improved to 7-11 on the season with her 14th complete game. She gave up five hits and two runs (one earned), striking out eight opponents for the second time in three starts. Marsh fell to 6-9 with 4.1 innings of work, allowing 10 hits and four earned runs. She fanned two and didn't walk anyone.
Shore, Kamber and Novotny each had two hits for the Judges, while Marchant had two more hits to finish the day 4-for-7 for the Rams.
Brandeis wraps up its regular season on Wednesday April 29 at 3:00 against Suffolk University, while Framingham State plays in the MASCAC tournament on Thursday.