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Dramatic Finish Gives Brandeis Sweep of Clark in Home Opener

Dramatic Finish Gives Brandeis Sweep of Clark in Home Opener

From Brandeis University Athletics

The Brandeis softball team gave new head coach Danielle DelPonte her first two home wins as their head coach today as the Judges swept Clark University, 10-7 and 10-9, in their 2016 home openers. The Judges improved to 10-7 on the season by holding off a Cougar charge in the first game, then scoring four runs in the bottom of the seventh in the nightcap. Clark falls to 5-9 on the season.


  • The Judges clung to a 4-3 lead headed into the bottom of the fourth inning thanks to senior Madison Sullivan (Dover, N.H./Dover).
  • Sullivan's long ball to center in the first inning was dropped allowing Brandeis's of first run to score, and she added a two-run double in the third.
  • Brandeis sent 11 hitters to the plate in the bottom of the fourth, with Sullivan and senior Jordan Buscetto (East Lyme, Conn./East Lyme) each delivering two-run doubles in the frame.
  • Clark trailed 10-3 headed into the sixth, but the Cougars delivered a pair of two-run home runs in the top of the frame.
  • Senior Alyssa Wright (Manchester, N.H./Manchester West) delivered her first blast of the season with one away
  • Classmate Rachel Kraytenberg (Londonderry, N.H./Londonderry) blasted her second of the game and fourth of the season two batters later.
  • The Judges retired four of the last five Clark hitters to finish off the win.
  • Sullivan led the Judges by going 2-4 with two doubles, four RBI and two runs scored.
  • Rookie DP Keri Lehtonen (Oneco, Conn./Plainfield) was 3-3 with a walk, two doubles, and three runs scored.
  • Senior 2B Madison Gagnon (Westlake Village, Calif./Westlake) led the Judges with four hits in four at bats with an RBI and a run scored.
  • Sophomore Melissa Soleimani (Somerset, Mass./Somerset Berkeley Regional) earned the win going 6.1 innings, allowing 10 hits and five runs (four earned) with six strikeouts, a career-high.
  • Kraytenberg paced Clark by going 2-4 with three RBI, two runs scored and her two home runs.
  • Rookie Taylor Erickson suffered the loss to fall to 1-2 on the season after 3.1 innings, allowing six hits and seven runs (six earned).


  • Clark put up three big innings, starting with three runs in the first inning thanks to sophomore 3B Angela Gonzalez (Merrimack, N.H./Merrimack), who doubled in the first two and scored the third on an error.
  • Brandeis junior SS Liana Moss (Agoura Hills, Calif./Agoura) singled in a run in the second and classmate Leah Shapiro (Beverly Hills, Calif./Beverly Hills) followed with an RBI double, but Moss was gunned down at the plate, to keep the lead with Clark, 3-2.
  • Gonzalez expanded the Cougars' lead in the third with a long three-run home run to left-center field, making it 6-2 for the visitors.
  • In the bottom of the fifth, Brandeis tied the game on four unearned runs as Clark committed errors on the first three batters of the inning.
  • Sullivan, Gagnon and Shapiro each drove in runs in frame.
  • Clark wasted little time getting the lead back, as rookie Kendra Walker (Cumberland, R.I./Cumberland) walked, moved to second on a wild pitch and scored two batters later on another WP.
  • Pinch hitter Danielle Tesler (Stoughton, Mass./Stoughton) plated a second run on a sacrifice fly
  • Wright made it 9-6 in favor of Clark with a towering homer to right field, her second of the day.
  • Clark reliever Sami West (Gonic, N.H./Spaulding), who got a strikeout with the bases loaded to end the fifth, worked around a two-out walk in the bottom of the sixth.
  • After Soleimani, who came on in relief, stranded runners on the corners in the top of the seventh, the Judges had their final chance for a comeback, and they took advantage.
  • Six Brandeis hitters came to the plate and they all reached.
  • Gagnon started the inning with a double to left field, and junior Allison Hecht (Melville, N.Y./Half Hollow Hills East) followed suit to get Brandeis with 9-7.
  • Moss followed and blasted the first pitch she saw to straight-away center field for her second home run of the season and the ninth of her career to tie the game at 9-9.
  • With the game tied, Shapiro dropped a ball in between four fielders in shallow left field and reached an uncovered second base.
  • Lehtonen followed with a perfectly-placed bunt to third, reaching safely and putting runners on the corners.
  • After Lehtonen stole second, sophomore Amanda Shore (San Jose, Calif./Archbishop Mitty) laced a 2-2 pitch to center field to deliver the come-from-behind walkoff win.
  • Moss and Hecht each went 3-4 on the day, with Moss driving in three runs, including the key homer, while Hecht had a double and scored twice.
  • Gagnon added two more hits and a walk to finish the day 6-7 with three runs scored and an RBI.
  • Soleimani earned the win in relief, giving up two hits and one earned run in two innings of work. She moved to 5-5 on the season.
  • Sophomore Sadie-Rose Apfel (Stamford, Conn./Westhill) went five innings and gave up eight runs (seven earned) on seven hits, with six strikeouts and four walks.
  • Gonzalez had the big game for Clark, going 3-5 with five RBI, a homer and a double.