Softball runs winning streak to 10 with sweep of Suffolk

WALTHAM, Mass. – The Brandeis University softball team extended the best start in school history today to 10-0 as the Judges rolled past visiting Suffolk University, 13-1 and 15-6, in a pair of eight-run-rule victories. The Judges are one of three remaining unbeaten teams in Division III softball and have matched the second-longest winning streak in program history with 10 in a row. The only longer streak was a program-record 23 in a row in 2008.

Brandeis scored runs in all eight of their at-bats against Suffolk in the two games, which both ended after five innings. Seven of the eight innings featured multiple runs.

The Judges' biggest inning of the day was the first of the first game, when the scored six times, including a two-run single by rookie DP Brittany Dean (Nanaimo, B.C./John Barsby Secondary) in her first collegiate plate appearance. Dean later added a two-run double in the fourth inning, which was followed two batters later by the first career home run by sophomore outfielder Bridget Cifuni (Georgetown, Mass./Brooks School). Six different Judges had multiple hits in the game, but only Cifuni and Dean had multiple RBI with three each.

In the circle for the Judges in the opener, junior Scottie Todd (Tampa, Fla./Strawberry Crest) improved to 5-0 by allowing just one earned run on two hits. She struck out six and walked one in her third complete game of the season and the 19th of her career. Suffolk's two hits came in the second inning, with the RBI off the bat of infielder McKenzie McGrath on a ball that just fell in in center field. The Rams' Constance Phelan suffered the loss, giving up 10 hits and nine runs (seven earned) in the first two innings of work. She fell to 2-2 on the season.

In the nightcap, the Judges banged out 15 runs on 12 hits, taking advantage of two Suffolk errors and nine walks. The big hitter of the game was sophomore shortstop Jolie Fujita (Honolulu, Hawaii/Punahou School), who went 3-for-3 with a walk, a stolen base, four RBI and four runs scored. She hit a two-run home run in the second inning, her second of the season, and added a two-run single in the fourth. In this game, four Judges had multiple hits and five had multiple RBI. Senior catcher Keri Lehtonen (Oneco, Conn./Plainfield) had the team's only other extra-base hit, a two-run double in the third inning.

Suffolk was also able to get the bats going a bit, scoring runs in four of their five at-bats. The Rams took a 2-0 lead in the top of the first on RBI singles by Ashley Zulla and Jaclyn Flint. Zulla would later add a home run in the third inning, a solo shot to deep center field.

In the circle, Brandeis rookie Amidori Anderson (Sparks, Nev./Spanish Springs) earned her first collegiate win, allowing six hits and five runs (two earned) in three innings of work. She struck out two and walked two. Classmate Sydney Goldman (Sherman Oaks, Calif./Notre Dame) worked the final two innings, striking out three and allowing just one hit, the homer to Zulla. Suffolk starter Hannah DelCervo took the loss to drop to 1-2 on the season.

Brandeis plays their next 12 games on the road, starting with a four-game University Athletic Association set this coming weekend at Washington University in St. Louis.