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Washington Captures Share of UAA Title With Win over Brandeis

Washington Captures Share of UAA Title With Win over Brandeis

From Washington University Athletics

The No. 23-ranked Washington University in St. Louis softball team captured a share of the 2015 University Athletic Association (UAA) Championship with a 5-2 victory over Brandeis University Sunday at Seminole County Softball Complex in Altamonte Springs, Fla.

Washington U. won seven of its last eight games to finish in a tie with No. 8-ranked Emory University with an 8-2 record. The conference title for Washington U. was it's second straight and ninth in school history.

"Playing 14 games in nine days is a lot to ask of any team and we showed a lot of heart clawing our way to a UAA title," said head coach Leticia Pineda-Boutté. "I'm extremely proud of this team and by no means are we satisfied. We will take a day or two to enjoy this and then it's back to business."

Junior pitcher Annie Pitkin (10-2) tossed her fifth complete game of the UAA Championship allowing five hits and two earned runs. Pitkin walked two and struck out 10 in the win. Pitkin finished the tournament with a 5-1 mark with a 1.45 earned run average with 48 strikeouts in 43.1 innings pitched.

Washington U. waited no time to take the lead after scoring a run on three hits in the bottom of the first inning. Senior Paige Biles and Kenzie James led off the inning with back-to-back bunt single to get things started. After Brandeis recorded a force out at third, sophomore Hannah Mehrle ripped the first pitch from Samantha Wroblewski up the middle for an RBI single.

The Bears played small ball in the second inning to push across the second run of the game. Senior Sydney Caldwell singled to left to lead off the inning, and then sophomore Halle Steinberg moved her to second after a sac bunt. A groundout by senior Alyssa Wilson moved Caldwell to third, and then she scored on an infield single by Biles.

Brandeis (6-7, 3-7 UAA) cut the lead in half with a solo homerun by Amanda Shore in the top of the third, and then tied in the fourth with a solo shot from Madison Hunter. The homeruns allowed by Pitkin was her second and third this season.

Washington U. scored three runs on four hits with two outs in the bottom of the fourth to jump ahead 5-2. Biles singled to right for her third hit of the game, and then stole second and third. She scored on an infield hit by James. After a single by White, Mehrle singled up the middle to drive in two to give WashU the three-run advantage.

WashU had 12 hits in the win, its second-straight and eighth game of the season with double-digit hits. Mehrle was 3-for-4 with three RBIs, while Biles went 3-for-3 with an RBI, run scored and tied a school record with three stolen bases. James (2-for-4, two runs scored, RBI) and White (2-for-4, run scored) also had multi-hit games.

White hit .450 (18-for-40) with four homeruns and a tournament-best eight doubles and 18 RBIs, while Biles was third in the tournament with a .514 (18-for-35) batting average. Biles and White tied for the tournament lead with 18 hits, while Biles led the UAA Championship in stoles bases with six.

Washington U. (16-4) hosts the Mizuno Invitational Saturday-Sunday, March 21- 22. The Bears take on No. 20-ranked Augustana College (Ill.) at 10 a.m. and Buena Vista University at Noon Saturday at the WU Softball Field. 

BEAR NOTEBOOK: Pineda-Boutté recorded her 299th win at Washington U. and 326th of her career … White has a season-long 16-game hitting streak, while Mehrle has hit safely in 12-straight … The Bears led the UAA Championship in ERA (2.00) … White moved into a tie for sixth place in school history in hits (175), and 10th in doubles (34) and run scored (108).