WALTHAM, Mass. – The 20th-ranked Brandeis softball team dropped a pair of University Athletic Association (UAA) contests to visiting Emory University today. The Eagles won the opener, 12-3, in five innings, and took a 6-3 decision in the second contest. With the losses, the Judges drop to 27-4-1, 10-4 in the UAA. The Eagles improve to 28-10, 12-4. Brandeis still has a chance at clinching their first UAA title, but will need to sweep Emory tomorrow. The Eagles can claim their second-straight conference title and and eighth in the last nine years with a win.
In game one, Emory struck first in the top of the first, when centerfielder Jenna Wilson led off the game with a bunt single, stole second and scored from there on a subsequent wild pitch.
Brandeis answered back in the bottom of the frame when sophomore shortstop Jolie Fujita (Honolulu, Hawaii/Punahou School) blasted a three-run home run to right-center field. It was her fourth homer of the season.
Unfortunately for the Judges, it was all Emory after that. The Eagles scored five in the third inning, two in the fourth and four in fifth to pick up the nine-run victory. Only half of the visitors' runs were earned in the game, as Brandeis committed five errors. Emory's 12 runs came on nine hits and four walks in addition to the five Judge miscues.
Wilson (2-3, 2 R, 3 SB) and leftfielder Sami Feller (3-4, 3 RBI, 3 R, 2B, HR) were multiple hitters for Emory. Fujita (2-3, 3 RBI, R, HR) and junior first baseman PJ Ross (Kingston, N.H./Sanborn Regional) (2-3) had multiple hits for the Judges. Brandeis sophomore centerfielder Melissa Rothenberg (Lawrenceville, N.J./Lawrence) had a double in the game.
In the circle, Emory's Toko Miller improved to 8-2 with the win. She tossed a complete-game seven-hitter, allowing two earned runs in five innings. She only struck out one batter, but did not walk anyone, throwing 48 of her 61 pitches for strikes. Brandeis junior Scottie Todd (Tampa, Fla./Strawberry Crest) went 4.2 innings and gave up 12 runs, only six of which were earned. She walked two and did not strike out a batter for the first time this season. Todd fell to 12-3 on the campaign.
In the second contest, Emory scored three times in the top of the first. After a one-out walk to second baseman Sarah Katz and a two-out walk to Feller, Eagle shortstop Cassie Baca delivered a two-run double to left field. Baca came around to score on the play, as the ball went out of play as she tried to advance to third base, awarding her the plate.
The Eagles added a key fourth run in the fourth inning, when Feller grounded one up the middle with the bases loaded. Brandeis got that one back in the bottom of the frame, as Fujita singled – the Judges' first hit of the game - and moved to second on a hit batter. She tagged up and got to third on a nice diving catch in right by Emory's Megan Weissberg and scored on a fielder's choice and scored on a fielder's choice by rookie pitcher Sydney Goldman (Sherman Oaks, Calif./Notre Dame) to get the Judges on the board.
The Judges cut the lead to one in the bottom of the sixth. After a walk, a single and a walk loaded the bases with no one out, senior leftfielder Marissa DeLaurentis (Centereach, N.Y./St. John the Baptist Diocesan) singled to the opposite field to plate one run. Goldman then grounded one past the third baseman, but Emory shortstop Baca made a nice play to get an out at third base as the Judges' second run of the inning scored. That paid off after a long flyout to right was the second out, as it could have provided the tying run.
Emory got some breathing room in the top of the seventh on a home run by Baca and an RBI single up the middle by rightfielder Sam Vincent after a Nicole Arreguin double to make it 6-3. Eagle hurler Madison Schaefer worked around a one-out single in the seventh to finish the game.
In game two, Schaefer outdueled Goldman. She allowed six hits and three runs in seven innings. She struck out six and walked five and improved to 12-4. Goldman suffered her first loss of the season, giving up 10 hits, six runs (five earned) and five walks with four strikeouts.
Baca (2-4, 3 RBI, 2 R, 2B, HR) was the big hitter in the game for Emory. Fujita (2-4, 2 R) was the lone multiple hitter for Brandeis.
The teams will meet again tomorrow at 9 a.m. for two more UAA contests.