CLERMONT, Florida – The Brandeis University softball team split for the second time in as many days on their February break trip to Florida. The Judges edged York (Pa.) College, 2-1 in 8 innings in their first game, but fell to Otterbein (Ohio) in the second contest, 6-4.
Rookie pitcher Scottie Todd (Tampa, Fla. / Strawberry Crest) tossed an eight-inning complete game two-hitter in the opener to improve to 2-0 on the season. She struck out six and walked three, allowing just one earned run.
The Spartans struck first in the fourth inning. After Todd got the first two outs on called third strikes, she issued a walk. York 1B Carleigh Ruleman followed with a double, the Spartans' first hit of the game, to produce a run.
Brandeis answered in the top of the fifth, when senior Allison Hecht (Melville, N.Y. / Half Hollow Hills East) doubled to lead off the frame. Two batters later, rookie 2B Briana Urena (Somerset, Mass. / Somerset Berkley Regional) singled to center to tie the game at 1-1.
Todd escaped a jam in the fifth when YC loaded bases with one out on a single, error and hit batter. Todd got a force at the plate for the second out, and the Judges survived when a squeeze bunt went awry. In the sixth they packed the sacks without a hit on two walks and a hit batter with two away, but a liner to first got Brandeis out safely.
In the eighth, sophomore Marissa DeLaurentis (Centereach, N.Y. / St.John the Baptist Diocesesan) came up with a big hit for the second day in a row, singling to center with two away to bring home Urena, who started the inning at second. Todd secured the win after York bunted their runner to third, with a grounder to third and a foul pop to the catcher to end the game.
Against Otterbein, the Cardinals scored three runs in the sixth inning to break a 3-all tie. After OC struck twice in the first inning, Brandeis took the lead in the top of the third. Hecht got the Judges on the board with a two-out single, and senior Madison Hunter (Parker, Colo./Legend) drove in two more with a single to center to put the Judges ahead.
In the bottom of the third, Otterbein's Courtney Hackney doubled with two away to drive in her second run of the game and even the score. The Judges stranded two Cardinals on base in the fourth and fifth, but couldn't escape damage in the sixth, as reliever Callie McDonald (Hanover, Mass. / Hanover) loaded the bases on two walks and a single. OC went ahead on a fielder's choice, and an error gave them a two-run cushion before Alyson Shaw doubled to make it a 6-3 game. Todd got the last two outs to end the threat.
The Judges had a chance to get back into the game in the top of the seventh, getting a pair of one-out hits before DeLaurentis extended her hitting streak to four games with her third double and third RBI of the season. After a walk loaded the bases with one out, Otterbein starter Gabby Johnson reentered the game and struck out the next two Brandeis hitters to extinguish the threat.
Brandeis is back in action tomorrow with the last two games of their trip, against Adrian (Mich.) and Hanover (Ind.)