ASHLAND, Ohio – The Case Western Reserve University softball team returned to action after a nearly two-week layoff and split a neutral site doubleheader with Westminster College (Pa.) on Thursday at Brookside Park. The Spartans won the opener, 6-3, but the Titans claimed the nightcap in walk-off fashion, 2-1.
The games were originally scheduled for this past Tuesday in New Wilmington, Pennsylvania but were postponed due to inclement weather.
The Spartans move to 8-9 overall and are back on the road this Saturday, March 30 at No. 5 nationally-ranked Trine University at 1:00 p.m. in Angola, Indiana.
With the split, the Titans sit at 4-8.
In game one, the teams traded solo homers in the opening innings with Westminster's provided by Layne Carpenter in the bottom of the second, and Case's courtesy of freshman third baseman Rachel Komar (Chesterland, Ohio/West Geauga) in the third. The homer was Komar's first collegiate round-tripper.
The Spartans then took the lead, 2-1, thanks to a Titan error on a fake double-steal in the fourth as sophomore pitcher Rebecca Taylor (Greensburg, Pa./Greater Latrobe) crossed home for the go-ahead score. Then in the sixth, the Spartans put the game out of reach when sophomore leftfielder Ashley Parello (Venetia, Pa./Peters Township) drilled her first career grand slam to right center, making the score 6-1.
Westminster picked up its final two runs thanks to a Lauren Stoczynski double in the seventh.
For the game, junior catcher Amy Taylor (Brier, Wash./Inglemoor) was 2-for-3 with a run scored, while Komar was 2-for-4 with the solo homer.
On the mound, Rebecca Taylor logged her eighth complete game of the season, allowing three earned runs on three hits and two walks with six strikeouts.
Chelsea Brown (1-5) suffered the loss for the Titans with four earned runs allowed in 5.1 innings. Stoczynski was 1-for-2 at the plate with a walk.
In game two, the Spartans jumped on top 1-0 in the top of the third when freshman outfielder Kristen Klemmer (Orchard Park, N.Y./Orchard Park) ripped an RBI triple to right center. Case threatened to add to its lead with the bases loaded and one out in the fourth, but Westminster starter Amber Forrest induced a fly out and a foul out to end the frame. In the bottom of the inning, sophomore rightfielder Gena Roberts (Miami, Fla./Palmer-Trinity) aided freshman pitcher Rebecca Molnar's (Independence, Ohio/Independence) effort with a fine diving catch on a ball hit in foul territory down the right field line.
After being held without a hit through the first four, Westminster picked up a leadoff single in the fifth courtesy of Carpenter. Pinch runner Erika Pamer would later come around to tie the score following a two-out, RBI double to right by Ashley Smith.
Molnar exited after the fifth, allowing just one earned run on two hits with a walk and two strikeouts. Rebecca Taylor came back on and worked out of a two-out jam with a key strikeout that stranded a pair of Titan runners in the sixth.
From there, the game seemed destined for extra innings. However, after a hit batter gave Westminster a runner at second with two out in the seventh, a mental error followed by a physical error allowed Alexis Sheffer to cross home plate for the walk-off win.
Rebecca Taylor (8-7) was the tough-luck loser, surrendering just one unearned run in 1.2 innings. Klemmer was one of six Spartans to go 1-for-3 at the plate.
Smith (2-2) picked up the win for Westminster with three innings of scoreless relief.
Following Saturday's twinbill at Trine, the Spartans return to Cleveland to open the home portion of the schedule in a make-up doubleheader versus Geneva College (Pa.) on Monday, April 1 at 3:30 p.m. at Mather Park.