WALTHAM, MA- The Wheaton College softball team trailed 20th-ranked Brandeis University just 5-4 in the fifth inning of the second game of a doubleheader on Wednesday at Marcus Field before falling 11-4 after suffering a 9-1, six-inning setback in the opener. The Lyons slipped to 17-15, while the Judges, who are ranked by the National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA), are 20-5-1.
In game one, freshman Megan Roy (North Dighton, MA/Dighton-Rehoboth Regional) walked three times for Wheaton, while junior Nicole DeRosa's (Greenwich, CT/Greenwich Academy) two-out double in the first inning plated sophomore Amanda Poplaski (North Reading, MA/North Reading) to give the Lyons a 1-0 edge. Sophomore Lesley Warn (Portland, ME/Deering) allowed four earned runs during four innings while striking out four.
Senior Emily Vaillette (Milford, NH/Milford) went all six innings for Brandeis without allowing an earned run, walking five and fanning three.
Warn worked out of a two-on, two-out jam unscathed in the first before Brandeis plated seven runs in the second inning on six hits and three Lyon miscues. The outburst proved to be the Judges' only runs during the first five frames before senior Erin Ross (Manalapan, NJ/Manalapan) provided a two-run double in the sixth.
Juniors Marissa Hobocan (Shelton, CT/Saint Joseph) and Kristen Hunt (Milford, CT/Jonathan Law) provided two RBI apiece in the second contest, with Hunt drilling her third home run of the year. Junior Rachel Merrick (Methuen, MA/Central Catholic) scored twice, while senior Andrea Bagley (Foxboro, MA/Foxboro) allowed seven earned runs in five innings while striking out four.
Freshman Stacy Berg (Owings Mills, MD/McDonough) hit a pair of home runs for the Judges, driving in five and scoring three runs. Sophomore Caroline Miller (Bala Cynwyd, PA/Harriton) allowed two earned runs in four innings while notching the win, and senior Allie Mussen (Franklin Square, NY/Carey) went three frames for the save.
After a Berg three-run homer in the opening inning produced the first runs of the game, Hunt swatted a two-run shot with two down in the second. Berg brought two more home on her third-inning home run, but Hobocan countered with a two-out, two-run single in the fourth to make it 5-4. However, Brandeis pulled away with four runs in the fifth and two more in the sixth.
The Lyons complete the home portion of their slate on Friday when they host Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) in a critical New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) doubleheader that begins at 3:00 p.m. With four games remaining, Wheaton is holding down the sixth and final playoff spot, while the Engineers are one game behind the Lyons in seventh. A sweep assures Wheaton of a postseason berth.