Spartan Softball Falls Twice at Otterbein

Molly O'Brien (photo by Ryan Baker)
Molly O'Brien (photo by Ryan Baker)

WESTERVILLE, Ohio - The Case Western Reserve University softball team was swept by scores of 2-0 and 10-7 at Otterbein University on Wednesday afternoon at Rike Field. 

The Spartans drop to 9-12 this season and will look to get back on track with their 2013 home opener versus Denison University this Saturday, April 6 at 1:00 p.m. at Mather Park in Cleveland. 

With the sweep, the Cardinals bump their mark to 8-6 this spring. 

In game one, the Cardinals scored the only run they would need when Bryn Allen plated Laura Basford with a sacrifice fly in the bottom of the fourth. Rachael Puthoff added an insurance score for the hosts in the sixth with a solo homerun to left. 

Sophomore pitcher Rebecca Taylor (Greensburg, Pa./Greater Latrobe) was the tough-luck loser on the mound despite tossing her 10th complete game of the season. In six innings, Taylor allowed two earned runs on four hits and no walks with six strikeouts. 

Natalie Swicker in the first four innings and Chelsea Burns in the final three combined for a four-hit shutout with just one strikeout for the Cardinals. 

At the plate, Spartan freshman third baseman Rachel Komar (Chesterland, Ohio/West Geauga) was 2-for-3 with a double. 

Basford doubled twice in three at-bats for Otterbein. 

In game two, the Cardinals got on the board in the second as Kristen Ramer reached on a throwing error then came around to score on a Puthoff single. 

The Spartans cracked the scoring column for a first time with a three-run fifth inning that seemed to seize the momentum. Sophomore second baseman Molly O'Brien (Northbrook, Ill./Loyola) hit an RBI double in the inning, while junior catcher Amy Taylor (Brier, Wash./Inglemoor) and freshman centerfielder Kristen Klemmer (Orchard Park, N.Y./Orchard Park) each provided RBI singles. 

However, Otterbein responded with five runs on five hits and an error in the bottom of the frame as Brooke Albright highlighted the rally with a two-run double. 

The Spartans pullled within one in the sixth thanks to an RBI walk by Amy Taylor and a sacrifice fly from Rebecca Taylor, but the potential tying and go-ahead runs were left on base. Otterbein then added four unearned runs in the home half of the frame that covered a two-run homer in the seventh by O'Brien. 

Rebecca Taylor allowed two earned runs in relief to fall to 9-9 for the season. 

Freshman Marisa Kohley (Gibsonia, Pa./Pine-Richland) made her first collegiate start then returned for the sixth in relief and did not allow an earned run in three total innings. 

Zwicker (2-1) earned her second win of the day for Otterbein with an inning of relief. 

For the game, Puthoff was 3-for-3 with three RBI, while Basford was 3-for-4. 

O'Brien was 3-for-5 with her first homer of the year and three RBI. Klemmer was 2-for-4.