PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Sophomore Leah Nakashima hit her first home run of the season, a two-run blast in the bottom of the sixth, to help Brown Softball top Yale, 6-4, in game one before falling to the visitors, 1-0, in game two in a doubleheader at Brown Softball Field on Saturday afternoon.
On the final day of the season for the Bears (13-21, 7-13 Ivy), the hosts plated five runs in the last of the sixth in the first game to turn a 4-1 deficit into a 6-4 lead prior to the Bulldogs (11-23, 5-15 Ivy) pulling out the nightcap of the Ivy League North Division twin bill with a run in the top of the seventh.
Prior to the contests, the Bears honored their two seniors – Jessica Cherness (Torrance, Calif.) and Trista Chavez (San Pedro, Calif.). Cherness earned the win in game one, pitching a complete-game seven innings and allowing four runs, two earned, on five hits with one strikeout. Chavez went 2-for-6 with a double and a run scored between the two games.
Junior Janet Leung (Mississauga, Ontario) led the Bears at the plate over the two tilts, going 4-for-7 with a double and a run scored. Freshman pitcher Katie Orona (Pueblo, Colo.) threw a complete game in the second match-up, giving up just one unearned run on four hits with a strikeout.
With the win in game one, Brown head coach Katie Flynn picked up her 500th career victory which includes 27 wins with the Bears, 313 wins at James Madison, 100 wins at UNC Greensboro, and 60 wins at Colgate.
Game 1 – Brown 6, Yale 4
Nakashima (San Jose, Calif.) gave the Bears a 6-4 lead they would not relinquish in the bottom of the sixth with her first extra-base hit and RBIs of the year.
Her two-run homer to left field capped a five-run inning for the home team, which included a two-run double from sophomore Julia Schoenewald (Jamison, Pa.) and an RBI double from classmate Sarah Syrop (Kennesaw, Ga.).
Leung went 2-for-4 in the game with a run while freshman Yeram Park (Arcadia, Calif.) notched a 2-for-3 effort at the dish with two doubles.
Cherness (4-6) gained the win in her final collegiate start, tossing seven innings and permitting just two earned runs.
Trailing 4-1 in the bottom of the sixth, Chavez started the Bears' half inning with a double to center field. Two batters later, Syrop drove her home with a double to right center. After a double to center from freshman Annie McGregor (Carlsbad, Calif.) put runners on second and third, Schoenewald cleared the bases with a double to right center.
Nakashima came to the plate with two outs and broke up the 4-4 tie with her round-tripper over the wall in left.
Yale posted the game's first run in the top of the first, but Brown knotted the game with a run in the next half inning. Leung led off the frame with a single and stole second before coming around the bases after a throwing error.
The Bulldogs took a 3-1 edge in the top of the third on a Rachel Paris two-run homer down the left field line and went up 4-1 on an RBI single from Sydney Glover in the top of the sixth prior to Brown's rally.
Francesca Casalino (6-10) suffered the loss for the Bulldogs, hurling 5.2 innings and surrendering six runs, five earned, on 10 hits.
Game 2 – Yale 1, Brown 0
Orona held the Bulldogs to one unearned run on four hits, but Yale scratched across a run in the top of the seventh for the 1-0 win over Brown in game two.
In the club's season finale, Orona (8-9) threw seven innings and fanned one. Leung led the Bears on offense and defense, registering two hits in three at bats and totaling nine assists and a put out on 10 chances.
Lindsay Efflandt (4-12) garnered the win for Yale, pitching a complete-game seven innings and permitting no runs on five hits with three strikeouts.
Yale plated the game's only run in the top of the seventh as Glover singled with one out. Glover advanced to second on a passed ball and to third on a wild pitch before scoring on a single from Paris up the middle.
The Bears threatened to score the contest's first run in the bottom of the sixth as Leung started the inning with a double to right field. Sophomore Lauren Hanna (Milford, Mass.) followed with a bunt single to put runners on first and second, but Efflandt was able to record the next three outs in order.
Orona faced five or fewer batters in six of her seven innings and held the Bulldogs to no more than one hit in six of seven frames. She allowed just three base runners to reach third base.