Berg Sets UAA Record as No. 24 Softball Splits at UAA Championship
BRANDEIS BOX | EMORY BOX
UAA CHAMPIONSHIP WEBSITE
Altamonte Springs, Fla., March 15, 2013 – Junior Stacy Berg tied a Washington U. and University Athletic Association (UAA) record with three home runs to lead the No. 24 ranked Washington University in St. Louis softball team to a 11-7 come-from-behind victory over Brandeis University in the first of two games Friday at the UAA Championship Tournament in Altamonte Springs, Fla.
Washington U. outhit No. 2 ranked Emory University 9-4 in game two, but could not overcome six walks, as the Eagles clinched a share of the conference championship with a 4-3 win. The Eagles can win the title outright with a win in one of their two games on Saturday (Rochester at 10 a.m., Case Western Reserve at 12:30 p.m.) or a Washington U. loss.
#24 Washington U. 11, Brandeis 7
Washington U. scored seven runs on eight hits and sent 12 batters to the plate in its final at-bat to overcome a 7-4 deficit against Brandeis. Junior Maggie Mullen singled with one out, and then junior Kelsey Neal hit a towering home run to centerfield to trim the lead to 7-6. The home run for Neal was the 13th of her career, moving into a tie for 10th on the Washington University all-time list.
Senior Sondra Polonsky singled to keep the rally alive, and then Berg homered to dead centerfield to push the lead to 8-7. The Bears followed with two singles and a walk to load the bases, and then senior Ashley Janssen drove in a run with a bunt single. Sophomore Adrienne White singled with the bases loaded to make it 10-7, and then Mullen drove in a run on a ground out to make it 11-7.
Berg, who entered the day with two home runs in 97 career at-bats, was 3-for-4 with three home runs and four RBIs in the win. Berg’s two-run home run with one out in the top of the seventh gave the Bears the lead for good.
Washington U. set a UAA-record with five home runs and recorded a season-high 17 hits in the game-one victory, Freshman pitcher Annie Pitkin picked up the win in relief tossing 2 2/3 innings allowing five hits and one earned run. Freshman Amanda Kalupa made the start, lasting just 1 2/3 innings allowing four hits and four earned runs. Freshman Brooke Hofer tossed 2 2/3 innings in relief allowing four hits and two unearned runs.
The Bears took the 2-0 lead in the top of the second after back-to-back home runs by Polonsky and Berg. The home run for Polonsky was the fifth of her career and first since her sophomore season. Brandeis answered back with four runs on four hits bottom half of the inning, including a bases-clearing double by leadoff hitter Amanda Genovese.
Berg trimmed the advantage to 4-3 with a sole home run in the top of the fourth. The Bears threatened with runners at second and third with two outs following Berg’s home run, but Janssen was called out on a close play at first to keep it a one-run game.
Brandeis (5-6, 1-5 UAA) added an unearned run in the fifth off Pitkin to make it 5-3, but Washington U. responded back with a run in the sixth after a two-out RBI single by sophomore pinch-hitter Sydney Caldwell. The Judges added two runs on three hits and took advantage of two WUSTL errors in the sixth to make it 7-4.
In addition to Berg, Washington U. had five other players with multi-hit games: Caldwell (2-for-2, run scored, RBI), Janssen (2-for-5, RBI), Hofer (2-for-4, run scored), Polonsky (3-for-4, three runs scored, RBI) and White (2-for-5, RBI).
#2 Emory 4, #24 Washington U. 3
The Bears grabbed the early 1-0 lead with a run in the bottom of the third inning. Caldwell led of the inning with a walk, stole second, and moved to third on a single by Janssen. On the ensuing play, Janssen was thrown out attempting to steal second and Caldwell came home for the first run of the game.
Without a hit through the first three innings, Emory (30-1, 6-0) got to starting pitcher Annie Pitkin in the fourth. Pitkin walked two batters to start the inning, and then a single by Ally Kersthold loaded the bases. Hannah Sendel scored on a wild pitch to make it 2-1, before a two-RBI single to center by Lauren Gorodetsky made it 4-1.
Washington U. chipped away with a run in the fifth on an RBI single by Neal to make it 4-2. Hofer came in relief for Pitkin and kept Emory in check. In the seventh, the Bears got things going with a two-out single by White. Mullen walked on five pitches moving White to second, and then she came around to score on a double by Neal. Neal’s double just missed being a walk-off home run as the ball deflected off the top of the wall and came back into the field of play. Amanda Kardys got Polonsky to ground out to end the game.
Pitkin (5-2) took the loss on the mound allowing two hits and four earned runs, but walked six batters. Hofer relieved Pitkin and was phenomenal, striking out three and allowing just two hits in 3 1/3 innings. Janssen, Neal and White each had two hits for Washington U. in the loss.
Washington University (17-4, 5-2 UAA) closes out conference play with a single game against the University of Rochester on Saturday, March 16, at 12:30 p.m. (ET).
Bear Notebook: Washington U. leads the UAA Championship Tournament in hitting (.410) … Neal (.500, 12-for-24), Polonsky (.500 (11-for-22) and Janssen (.478, 11-for-23) are all in the top-five in hitting … Berg is tied for the lead in home runs (three), Janssen is first in runs scored (10), Neal is first in doubles (five) and RBIs (12) and Mullen is tops in home runs (three) and total bases (22) … Neal has a 12-game hitting streak, while Mullen had hit safely in 11-straight games.