MILFORD, N.H. – Amidst feet of snow, the Mount Ida College 2015 softball season got underway on Sunday evening with a double-header against Brandeis University at the Hampshire Dome. The Judges were able to earn a sweep over the Mustangs with two five-inning wins, 15-0 and 11-2, in a non-conference affair.
Game 1: Brandeis 15, Mount Ida 0, 5 innings
The Mustangs got their leadoff hitter on with a single by sophomore Michele MacDonald (North Dighton, Mass.), but then fell victim to what would have been a perfect game by Brandeis pitching.
Sophomore starter Samantha Wroblewski (Delray Beach Fla.) was masterful, tossing four innings of perfect ball after MacDonald's bloop base hit while striking out eight batters.
Wroblewski struck out six straight batters while setting the Mustangs down swinging in both the second and third innings.
Sadie-Rose Apfel (Stamford, Conn.) came on to pitch a scoreless fifth inning for Brandeis and struck out the final two batters of the game.
Sophomore Kaitlyn Muhlenforth (Bohemia, N.Y.) went all five innings for Mount Ida, striking out one batter but allowing 15 hits and seven walks to fall to 0-1 on the season.
Center fielder Madison Hunter (Parker, Colo.) drove in four runs, going 3-3 in the game, including a pair of ground-rule doubles, one of which drove in two runs in a six-run top of the fifth for the Judges.
Brandeis scored three runs in the second, third, and fourth innings. They opened the scoring with an RBI single to left center by Danielle Novotny (Milford, N.J.) and then a two-run double by senior Amanda Genovese (North Haven, Conn.).
Cori Coleman (Burr Ridge, Ill.), who was 2-3 with two runs and two RBIs, singled home a run, stole a base and scored herself in the top of the third as the Judges doubled their lead to 6-0.
Hunter had an RBI single in that inning, then hit her first ground rule double to score a run in the fourth, after two Judges had crossed the plate on a single by Madison Gagnon (Westlake Village, Calif.).
The big blow in the fifth inning was Hunter's second ground-rule double of the day, which scored Gagnon and Liana Moss (Agoura Hills, Calif.), who was on base three times and scored twice.
Gagnon and third baseman Madison Sullivan (Dover, N.H.) each crossed the plate three times for the Judges.
Game 2: Brandeis 11, Mount Ida 2, 5
Mount Ida tied the game at two in the top of the third after falling behind a half-inning earlier, but Brandeis re-took a two-run lead in the bottom of the third and then busted the game open with four runs in the bottom of the fourth.
Macdonald had another hit, as did each of the top three players in the Mount Ida lineup. Sophomore Emma Morton (Winchester, Mass.) led off the top of the third with an infield single, and the Mustangs loaded the bases with base knocks by MacDonald and Lexi Minicucci (Westfield, Mass.).
Freshman Hayley Microulis (Pawtucket, R.I.) delivered a fourth consecutive single to pick up her first RBI of her career, and then Erin Fairfield (Franklin, Mass.) did the same for herself with a groundout to score MacDonald.
Brandeis had scored a pair of unearned runs on a fielding error in the bottom of the second. In the next frame, they played small-ball, using a Genovese single and stolen base, a walk by Sullivan and a wild pitch to plate a run before Anya Kamber (Sammamish, Wash.) picked up her first RBI of the season with a base knock to center field.
Gagnon had three RBIs for Brandeis, all of them in the fourth inning when she tripled to right center to clear the bases.
It was one of two triples in the game for the Judges, as Moss led off the fifth with a triple to center and scored on an RBI double by Coleman. The game ended with a double to center field by Jordan Buscetto (Old Lyme, Conn.), scoring a pair of runs and providing the gap needed to end the contest in five innings.
Microulis suffered the loss in her first collegiate start, allowing nine earned runs on 10 hits and three walks with two strikeouts.
Melissa Soleimani (Somerset, Mass.) earned the win after pitching three innings and allowing two runs on four hits with two walks and one strikeout.
The Mustangs have a few weeks off after this early season opening doubleheader. They will prepare for their Spring Break trip to Clermont, Florida from March 7th-14th, with their opening games coming against Coat Guard and Juniata on March 9th.
Brandeis faces Grace (Ind.) on March 7th at 1:00 pm.