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Bears drop three but outlast Tigers for lone win on weekend

The women's softball team went 1-3 in league play this weekend in doubleheaders against Cornell and Princeton. The Bears dropped two games to Cornell (16-13, 7-1 Ivy) before losing a one-run decision to Princeton (9-20, 5-3) in game one Saturday. But in game two, Bruno (6-16, 3-5) bounced back to salvage a win from the weekend, outlasting the Tigers in a 2-1, 11-inning thriller to split the series.

Bruno fell to the Big Red 11-9 in game one Friday afternoon, followed by an 8-4 loss in game two. In the first game, the Bears started off strong with a 2-0 lead after Kate Strobel '12 and Trish Melvin '12 tallied solo home runs in the third and fourth innings, respectively. But the lead was short-lived, as Cornell exploded for nine runs in the fifth inning to grab a 9-2 lead. 

The Big Red scored twice more, but the Bears refused to go down without a fight. In the last three innings, the Bears scored seven more runs, three courtesy of Misa Wong's '15 three-run homer, but the offensive onslaught was not enough to overcome the deficit.

The second game of the afternoon was a back-and-forth affair, and Bruno again came up short. By the third inning, Cornell built a 3-1 lead, but the Bears were able to even the score at the bottom of the inning. In the next three innings, Cornell shut down the Bears and scored five runs of its own.

 "We scored a lot of runs on one of the most experienced and talented pitching staffs in the Ivy League," said Head Coach DeeDee Enabenter-Omidiji. "The challenge that we have in front of us is that our young, inexperienced - but determined - staff is giving up too many runs. Hopefully, they will continue to work toward some consistency, and the offense will continue to produce runs."

Against Princeton, Enabenter-Omidiji said she thought the team displayed a never-say-die attitude in both games. The Tigers topped the Bears 6-5 Saturday, but Bruno came back in the second game to win 2-1. 

In the first game, Bruno was down 4-1 heading into the bottom of the fifth inning. But the Bears rallied back thanks to a three-run home run by Melvin and another run, making it 5-4 in Bruno's favor. Princeton then scored two runs of its own, giving the Tigers a 6-5 lead and ultimately the win after Brown's bats were silenced in the bottom of the seventh. 

The second game went on for a grueling 11 innings, and this time the Bears scraped out a 2-1 victory. Pitcher Jessica Cherness '15 was on the mound the entire game.

"Jessica pitched one of the best games I have seen in my time here at Brown," shortstop Stephanie Thompson '13 said. "She kept her composure and didn't show any weaknesses for 11 innings, which is amazing, especially from a freshman."

After seven innings, the scoreboard remained blank. Princeton tallied a run in the top of the 10th and put the pressure on the Bruno bats, but Thompson tied the game with a clutch solo homer. After blanking Princeton in the 11th, Alyssa Caplan '13 stepped up to the plate and provided the heroics for the Bears. Down to two strikes, Caplan blasted a walk-off home run to give the Bears a 2-1 victory.

"Those are the kind of situations you dream about, so it was really exciting ," Caplan said. "Our pitcher threw such a great game, and our team showed so much focus. It felt good to walk away with a win, and I think that win will definitely give us momentum going into next weekend."

Overall, Enabenter-Omidiji said she thought the team played well and showed signs of improvement. "What (this weekend) showed us as a team, even though we came up short, is we have a lot of fight in us," Enabenter-Omidiji said. "We are going to fight to the last strike or out of the game, and we hope to take that same attitude into the rest of our season."

The Bears will play University of Rhode Island Wednesday before continuing their Ivy campaign over the weekend.


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