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Wins over NYU, CWRU Put Juges Alone in 2nd in UAA Standings

Wins over NYU, CWRU Put Juges Alone in 2nd in UAA Standings

From Brandeis University Athletics

The Brandeis University softball team earned a pair of victories on the second day of action at the 2016 University Athletic Association tournament today. The Judges opened with a 7-3 win over New York University and rallied for a 7-6 victory over Case Western Reserve. The Judges move over .500 for the first time this season at 5-4, while their 3-1 record matches their UAA win total from each of the last five seasons.



  • Brandeis scored runs in every other inning en route to the 7-3 win
  • The Judges started in the first when they scored twice on one hit thanks to a lead-off double by rookie DP Keri Lehtonen (Oneco, Conn. / Plainfield) and two NYU errors.
  • After two were out in the third, three-straight Judges reached, with rookie LF Marissa DeLaurentis (Centereach, N.Y. / St.John the Baptist Diocesesan) singling up the middle to give Brandeis a 3-0 lead.
  • After stranding four through the first three innings, NYU broke through in the fourth thanks to a two-run double by Marissa Bella, but Brandeis junior Melissa Soleimani (Somerset, Mass./Somerset Berkeley) got a pop-up to get out of the inning.
  • Brandeis answered in the next half-inning on an RBI single by junior Madison Hunter (Parker, Colo./Legend) and a double by DeLaurentis.
  • NYU's Karissa Zubulake got her team within 5-3 with a home run to left in the bottom of the fifth.
  • RBI doubles by senior 3B Madison Sullivan (Dover, N.H./Dover) and Hunter closed the scoring in the seventh inning.
  • Soleimani improved to 2-2 on the season with seven innings of eight-hit ball. She allowed three earned runs, walked one and struck out a career-high five.
  • It was her third complete game of the season.


  • The Judges defeated the Spartans, 7-6, despite getting outhit, 15-7, as they stranded 12 runners on base.
  • Each team scored in the first, with Case taking advantage of a Brandeis error in the top half of the inning.
  • In the bottom half, Brandeis rookie catcher Kira Wessels (Los Angeles, Calif. / Venice) walked and scored three batters later on a Hunter double.  CWRU kept the game tied by throwing out a go-ahead run at the plate.
  • The Spartans jumped ahead, 3-1, in the second thanks to a two-run home run to center field by Annie Wennerberg.
  • The Judges came right back in the bottom of the frame with five runs in just three hits. With one away, junior Allison Hecht (Melville, N.Y. / Half Hollow Hills East) slugged her second career home run and the team's first of 2016 to get Brandeis within 3-2.
  • After a walk and a hit batter, Lehtonen tied the game with a double to left-center, while Wessels singled up the middle to give Brandeis the 4-3 lead.
  • After Wessels stole second to put two runners in scoring position, CWRU got the second out of the inning, but the Judges were able to get both runs home on a wild pitch and a passed ball, taking a 6-3 lead.
  • In the third, Brandeis sophomore starter Sadie-Rose Apfel (Stamford, Conn./Westhill) left two runners in scoring position after inducing a comebacker to the circle and a liner to center.
  • The Spartans left two more runners on in the fourth and loaded the bases with two out in the fifth, but Apfel escaped damage with a harmless fly to center.
  • Down to their final six outs, Case finally broke through in the sixth inning, scoring three times to tie the game. 3B Maren Walder delivered a two-run single to knock Apfel out of the game.
  • Brandeis rookie Sarah Petrides (Scottsdale, Ariz. / Phoenix Country Day School) came on in relief and saw the Spartans put two runners in scoring position after a wild pitch, a single and a stolen base. Catcher Meaghann McMahon tied the game with a sacrifice fly, but the potential go-ahead run was left at second base after a lazy pop to short.
  • In the bottom of the sixth, the Judges were able to score the winning run with aggressive play. Hecht opened the inning with a single through the left side.
  • Pinch runner Leah Shapiro (Beverly Hills, Calif./Beverly Hills) moved to second on a bunt by senior Jordan Buscetto (Old Lyme, Conn./Old Lyme). Case pitcher Katie Dzierwa induced a grounder to short to keep Shapiro in place, but Lehtonen followed with a solid single to right-center to give the Judges the 7-6 lead.
  • After Case got the final out of the sixth inning, Soleimani came in to close things out in the seventh. She got the first out before allowing a single and a walk. A pop to short provided the second out, but Soleimani issued a second free pass to move the tying run 90 feet away and the go-ahead run into scoring position.
  • Soleimani coaxed a grounder to second to close out the contest and earn her first collegiate save.