Spartan Softball Finishes Perfect at Home, Extends Win Streak to 11 with Senior Day Sweep of Geneva

Senior Chelsea Lasky and Head Coach Josie Henry share an embrace during the pregame ceremony. (photo by Matt Lake)
Senior Chelsea Lasky and Head Coach Josie Henry share an embrace during the pregame ceremony. (photo by Matt Lake)

CLEVELAND – The Case Western Reserve University softball team capped the 2013 season with 11 wins in a row and 15 victories overall in its final 16 games thanks a Senior Day doubleheader sweep of Geneva College (Pa.) on Tuesday afternoon at Mather Park. The Spartans, who completed a perfect 8-0 slate in home games, defeated Geneva by scores of 7-0 and 2-1.

The Spartans end the season at 24-13 and still maintain an outside shot at an at-large berth to NCAA Regionals later this month. The NCAA selection show is set for this Monday, May 6 at 10:00 a.m. on NCAA.com.

Prior to first pitch, the program honored its lone senior student-athlete, centerfielder Chelsea Lasky (Erie, Pa./Villa Maria Academy).

Highlighting the sweep was a 5-for-6 day at the plate by sophomore second baseman Molly O'Brien (Northbrook, Ill./Loyola) along with two stellar outings on the mound from sophomore Rebecca Taylor (Greensburg, Pa./Greater Latrobe) and freshman Rebecca Molnar (Independence, Ohio/Independence).

In game one, the Spartans did most of their damage in the first inning with four runs on four hits. Junior catcher Amy Taylor (Brier, Wash./Inglemoor) hit an opposite-field double to plate two, and sophomore rightfielder Gena Roberts (Miami, Fla./Palmer-Trinity) ripped a two-run homerun down the left field line.

The Golden Tornadoes (20-16) threatened the home lead in the third by loading the bases with no outs, but Rebecca Taylor was able to work her way out of trouble with a line-drive double play followed by a fly out.

In the bottom of that inning, the Spartans added a pair thanks to Roberts' second homer of the day and seventh this season along with an RBI single by Lasky. The final run of the game scored in the fifth thanks to an RBI single by O'Brien.

On the mound, Rebecca Taylor (17-10) battled through 135 pitches and countered six walks with seven strikeouts. The complete game was the right-hander's 17th this season, and the shutout was the seventh of her career.

At the plate, O'Brien was 3-for-3 with a walk, a run batted-in and a stolen base. Roberts finished 2-for-4 with a pair of "long-balls" and three RBI. Both Taylors finished 2-for-4.

Geneva's Andrea Hinds (6-6) took the loss on the mound, while Dayna Hicks was 2-for-2 at the plate.

In game two, the Spartans scored once in the first as freshman third baseman Rachel Komar (Chesterland, Ohio/West Geauga), the reigning University Athletic Association Rookie of the Year, tripled to deep right center and came around to score on a wild pitch. Another run came home in the fourth when Amy Taylor singled then scored later on a throwing error, and O'Brien put a halt to a Geneva threat in the fifth with a fine leaping catch at second.

The Golden Tornadoes did finally break through with their first run of the day in the top of the sixth as Ashley Davis led off with a double and later scored on a wild pitch. However, that would be the only run Molnar would allow as the Spartans capped off a perfect season at Mather Park this spring.

For the game, Molnar (4-3) allowed just three hits and two walks while striking out three in her fourth complete game.

Offensively, O'Brien and Komar were each 2-for-4.

Samantha Johnson (14-9) was the tough-luck loser for Geneva with just one earned run in six innings.