Altamonte Springs, Fla., March 11, 2014 – The No. 18-ranked Washington University in St. Louis softball team split a pair of games on day one of the 2014 University Athletic Association (UAA) Championship Tuesday in Altamonte Springs, Fla.
The Bears snapped No. 9 Emory University's 20-game winning streak with a 7-2 victory in the opener, before falling to Brandeis University 2-0 in 11 innings in the nightcap. Freshman outfielder Kenzie James went 8-for-9 with two stolen bases, two sacrifices, and raised her batting average to .577 in the two games.
Sophomore Annie Pitkin (4-0) kept Emory off balance the entire game allowing three hits and two unearned runs in the complete game victory. Senior Kelsey Neal (1-1) was exceptional in game two allowing 14 hits and two unearned runs in 10 2/3 innings pitched with six strikeouts. Pitkin, Neal and sophomore Amanda Kalupa combined to toss 18 innings without allowing an earned run.
#18 Washington U. 7, #9 Emory 2
In a battle of unbeaten teams, it was Washington U. that made a statement early on scoring four runs on four hits in its first at-bat. The Bears took advantage of a costly error by Emory in the first, and knocked starting pitcher Amanda Kardys out of the game after seven batters.
Neal drove in the first run of the game on an RBI single, and then graduate student Stacy Berg doubled to right to make it 2-0. Sophomore Brooke Hofer delivered the big hit of the game, a two-out, two-RBI single to right that pushed the advantage to 4-0.
With Pitkin in control on the mound, the Bears added two more runs in the fourth on an RBI single by junior Adrienne White and a bases loaded walk by Hofer. The Bears threatened again in the fifth loading the bases with no outs, but managed just one run on a sac fly by White.
Emory (20-1, 0-1 UAA) got on the scoreboard with two unearned runs after an RBI double by Ally Kersthold in the fifth, but Pitkin slammed the door with a strikeout of All-American Megan Light to end the inning.
Washington U. had 10 hits in the victory but left 11 runners on base. James was 4-for-4 with a run scored, while Hofer was 2-for-3 with three RBIs. The Bears took advantage of seven walks and three errors by Emory.
Brandeis 2, #18 Washington U. 0 (11 innings)
Washington U. had 13 hits and left 16 runners on base in the loss to Brandeis in game two. Brandeis starting pitcher Samantha Wrobleski (3-1) matched Neal pitch per pitch, allowing 13 hits in 11 innings pitched. Washington U. loaded the bases in the fourth after a single and two walks, but Wrobleski got freshman Janet Taylor to ground out.
Brandeis (7-1, 1-1 UAA) had a golden opportunity after a leadoff walk in the sixth. With runners on second and third with one out, White made a great play at home on a suicide squeeze to keep the game knotted up. The Judges loaded the bases with two outs in the sixth, but Neal got Wrobleski on a strikeout to end the inning.
WUSTL threatened in the bottom of the 10th inning after a leadoff ingle single by senior Maggie Ingell. White was placed on second due to the international tiebreaker rule, and then was thrown out at the plate by right fielder Danielle Novotny after trying to score on a single by Berg.
Wrobleski drove in the eventual game-winning run with a single to right in the 11th with one out. After an error by Hofer, Liana Moss drove in the insurance run to make it 2-0. James was 4-for-4, while Ingell and junior Alyssa Wilson added a pair of hits. Amanda Genovese was 4-for-6 for Brandeis in the win.
Washington University (8-1, 1-1 UAA) continues play in the UAA Championship on Wednesday, March 12, with a single game against Case Western Reserve University at 10 a.m. (ET).
BEAR NOTEBOOK: The Bears hit .324 with one extra-base hit and left 27 runners on base in the two games… Freshman Halle Steinberg was hit by pitch twice vs. Brandeis, tying a school record … Washington U. has outscored its opponents 88-11 in the first nine games and hitting .436 as a team.