Miller hurls 3-hitter; softball team advances, 7-1
Star pitcher strikes out 11 and drives in the winning run
Caroline Miller ‘12 struck out 11, allowed just three hits over seven innings of work and drove in the game-winning run with a two-run double to lead the top-seeded Judges past No. 8 seed Daniel Webster College, 7-1, in the opening round of the 2012 Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) Division III New England Softball Championship Tournament yesterday.
With the win, Brandeis improves to 24-16 overall on the season and will host the rest of the tournament over the weekend. Daniel Webster’s most successful season comes to a close with a 23-20 mark.
Miller faced just four batters more than the minimum for the game and allowed base runners in just two of the seven frames. She set down the first 12 Eagle hitters in order, eight by way of strikeout. She allowed three straight hits in the fifth, when Daniel Webster scored its lone run, then retired nine of the final 10 hitters, improving her record to 14-7 on the season.
Miller’s 11 strikeouts were one short of her career high and marked the third game of the season and fifth of her career with at least 10. She moved into second place on the Judges’ career strikeout list with 302, making her only the second player to reach the 300-mark for her career. Her 146 this season are within 17 of Kaitlin Streilein ’08’s single-season record.
Miller also drove in what proved to be the game-winning run as part of a four-run first inning for the Judges. After Brandeis loaded the bases with one away, Anya Kamber ‘15 opened the scoring with an RBI grounder to second base. Miller then followed with a double down the left-field line, her eighth of the season, to score two more runners. Left-fielder Megan DeNubila ’12 followed with another double, to right-center field, giving the Judges a 4-0 lead.
Daniel Webster pitcher Amanda Wilson (12-11) settled down after that, allowing just one hit over the next three innings.
Brandeis scored again in the bottom of the fifth on DeNubila’s second RBI of the game, making it 5-1. The Judges added two more runs in the sixth on a single by third baseman Brittany Grimm ‘12 and sacrifice fly by center-fielder Lauren Porcaro ‘12 to make the final 7-1.
In addition to Miller’s big day, Grimm finished 3-for-4 with an RBI and a run scored. With 14 hits in her last 19 at-bats, Grimm has raced up several of the Judges’ career lists. She is now in second place in career hits, with 183, and is in a three-way tie for sixth for most hits in a season, with 56. She is just one RBI shy of becoming the seventh player in school history with 100 for her career, and has moved into fifth place in career runs scored with 118.
DeNubila, who finished 2-for-3 with two RBIs against Daniel Webster, was the game’s only other multiple hitter; the other seven Brandeis starters all had one hit each.
Brandeis will host the remainder of the ECAC Division III New England tournament on Marcus Field.
The Judges will take on fifth-seeded Rivier College at 10 a.m. Saturday. The Raiders upset fourth-seeded Plymouth State University, 5-3, in the opening round.
Two other quarterfinals -- #2 Salve Regina vs. #7 Simmons and #3 Endicott vs. #6 Worcester State -- were postponed yesterday and will be played tomorrow. The winners of those two contests will play at noon Saturday. The winner of that game and the winner of the Brandeis-Rivier contest will play 4 p.m. at Saturday.