Late Rally Propels Spartans to Twinbill Sweep of Baldwin-Wallace

Kaeleen Boden is congratulated by Head Coach Josie Henry after hitting her third homer of the season. (photo by Dain McKee)
Kaeleen Boden is congratulated by Head Coach Josie Henry after hitting her third homer of the season. (photo by Dain McKee)

BEREA, Ohio – The Case Western Reserve University softball team swept a doubleheader at cross-town foe Baldwin-Wallace College on a chilly Thursday afternoon at Cuyahoga County Fairgrounds Field. The Spartans won the opener 7-2 and rallied from three down to take game two by a score of 8-4.

The Spartans (15-8 overall) have won 9-of-10 heading into an eight-game home stand beginning with No. 17 nationally-ranked Trine University (Ind.) on Saturday, March 31 at 2:00 p.m. at Mather Park. With the sweep, B-W falls to 11-9.

In game one, the Spartans got off to a quick start with two in the top of the first thanks to RBI doubles from freshman right fielder Gena Roberts (Miami, Fla./Palmer-Trinity) and sophomore shortstop Makenzie Lein (Petersburg, Mich./Ida). Both sides then went scoreless until Case added three runs in the sixth as senior designated player Ianna Wasser (Warwick, R.I./Toll Gate) hit an RBI double and senior third baseman Kaeleen Boden (Strongsville, Ohio/Holy Name) ripped her third homerun of the year – a two-run shot to left.

B-W got those two runs back in their half of the frame with a two-run homer from Tabitha Murray, but Case added an insurance score in the seventh on an RBI single by sophomore catcher Amy Taylor (Brier, Wash./Inglemoor).

On the mound, freshman Rebecca Taylor (Greensburg, Pa. /Greater Latrobe) tossed her 14th complete game to improve to 10-8. The right-hander allowed six hits in seven innings without walking a batter and striking out six.

For the game, Lein was a career-best 4-for-4 with two runs and two runs batted-in. Sophomore left fielder Katherine Seo (Salt Lake City, Utah/Olympus) was 2-for-3 and Wasser was 2-for-4.

In game two, both starting pitchers held the opposition scoreless through three innings. In the fourth, the Yellow Jackets loaded the bases with no outs, and it appeared as if Spartan freshman pitcher Christina Hunger (Aurora, Ill. /West Aurora) would dance out of trouble after inducing a 1-2-3 double play. However, B-W came back with three-straight RBI singles from Katie Finley, Nikki Peskura and Brittany Lightel to move ahead 3-0.

Undaunted, the Spartans came right back in the fifth when senior first baseman/designated player Lauren Wolz (Ashburn, Va./Stone Bridge) just missed a grandslam in what turned out to be a long two-run single off of the wall. Lein then tied the game with a single through the left side of the infield.

In the bottom of the fifth, B-W regained the lead following an RBI single by Mackenzie Brua, but the Spartans once again rallied with five runs in the top of sixth. With the bases loaded, Wolz drew a walk that tied the score at 4-4. Lein then singled home a run before Hunger cleared the bases with a double to left center.

On the mound, Taylor came on in relief and pitched the final three innings to improve to 11-8. Hunger started and threw the first four innings, allowing three earned runs while striking out a pair.  

At the plate, freshman second baseman Molly O'Brien (Northbrook, Ill./Loyola) was 4-for-5 in the leadoff spot with two runs scored, while Lein, Hunger and Roberts all posted two-hit performances.

Also noteworthy, Wolz was 1-for-2 with a pair of walks and three RBI in the nightcap, putting her just two RBI shy of tying the school career record. The All-American already owns the CWRU records for homeruns in a season (10 in 2011) and a career (22).