Softball drops two to NYU

Keri Lehtonen '19 (Photo by Alice Shore)
Keri Lehtonen '19 (Photo by Alice Shore)

WALTHAM, Mass. – The Brandeis softball team suffered a pair of losses at the hands of University Athletic Association foe NYU today. The Violets defeated the Judges 10-2 in six innings in the opener and 6-3 in the nightcap, using four home runs in the two games to take the wins.

In the opener, the Violets struck for three unearned runs against Brandeis rookie Scottie Todd (Tampa, Fla./Strawberry Crest), thanks to two Brandeis errors and a two-run single by NYU 3B Molly Webber.

Brandeis got one back in the second on a PJ Ross (Kingston, N.H./Sanborn Regional) sacrifice fly, but the Judges couldn't do any further damage. The Violets answered with three more runs in the third, with Webber driving in her third run of the game on a sac fly and DP Carina Sturm following with a long home run to center field.

NYU added two runs each in the fourth and sixth, the latter on catcher Jacqueline Finn's two-run home run. Brandeis's other run came on a throwing error in the fourth inning.

NYU's Karissa Zubulake earned the win to improve to 6-3 on the season. She allowed just five hits in six innings, giving up one earned run. Zubulake struck out four and walked two. For Brandeis Todd allowed more than three runs in a game for the first time all season, giving up six in three innings, though only three were earned. Todd gave up just four hits, struck out two and walked two. She also hit a batter. Senior Melissa Soleimani (Somerset, Mass./Somerset-Berkley Regional) came on in relief and gave up four runs (three earned) in three innings.

In the second game, NYU centerfielder Diana King led the Violets' attack, going 3-4 with two home runs. She led off the game with a blast to center field and launched another in the sixth as the Judges tried to mount a comeback. The homer was the only run surrendered by Brandeis's Callie MacDonald (Hanover, Mass./Hanover) and NYU's Cassi Parulis through the first four innings. The visitors tacked on three runs in the fifth, with the key hit being a two-run single by 1B Caroline Saccacio.

Brandeis broke onto the scoreboard in the fifth, when the loaded the bases with two outs thanks to a key error by Parulis. A wild pitch allowed rookie 1B Caroline Sippin (Coram, N.Y./Longwood) to score, but the Judges couldn't coax another run home. King's second blast in the top of the sixth gave the visitors some breathing room, but Brandeis sophomore catcher Keri Lehtonen (Oneco, Conn./Plainville) answered with her first round-tripper of the season and the fourth of her career in the bottom of the frame.

The Judges threatened to climb back into the game in the bottom of the seventh, as Sippin and right fielder Taylor Simala (Wellsburg, W. Va./Brooke) drew one-out walks. A wild pitch moved them into scoring position. Senior Madison Hunter (Parker, Colo./Legend) delivered her third hit of the game to bring home Sippin and cut the deficit to 6-3, but NYU reliever Katie Piorkwoski earned a save by getting a double-play grounder to second base to end the game.

Brandeis (8-9, 3-4 UAA) and NYU (14-10, 3-3 UAA) will meet for two more games tomorrow at noon, with the Judges celebrating Senior Day before the contest.