Branson’s Walk-off HR Gives Spartan Softball Team Season-Opening Split
CLERMONT, Fla. -- Freshman Courtney Branson (Orient, OH/Teays Valley) hit a walk-off homerun to give the Case Western Reserve University softball team a 12-11 victory versus Thiel College (PA) in the second game of the Spartans' season-opening doubleheader at the National Training Center Games. The win gave first-year head coach Josie Henry her first career victory after the Spartans opened with a 9-1 loss to Simmons College (MA) in game one.
The Spartans, now 1-1 for the season, are right back in action with a pair of games tomorrow afternoon. Case opens versus Penn State Behrend University at 11:30 a.m. then follows versus The Sages College (NY) at 1:30 p.m.
In the opener, senior Mary Kruszka (Lakeview, NY/Immaculata Academy) started on the mound and suffered the loss as the game was stopped after six innings due to the eight-run rule. At the plate, freshman outfielder Katherine Seo (Salt Lake City, UT/Olympus) was 2-for-3 with a run batted-in. Senior Anneliese Fetterman (Cupertino, CA/Monte Vista) doubled and scored a run, while freshman Makenzie Lein (Petersburg, MI/Ida) hit a triple.
In game two, Lein started and pitched the first 6.1 innings. Lesley scored seven runs in the first inning before the Spartans rallied to tie the score heading into the final frame. Branson then led off the bottom of the seventh with her first career homerun to complete the comeback victory.
In addition, junior catcher Ianna Wasser (Warwick, RI/Toll Gate) hit a pair of doubles and Seo drove in three. Fetterman and junior Kaeleen Boden (Strongsville, OH/Holy Name) each drove in a pair.