ATLANTA – The Case Western Reserve University softball team split a pair of games for the second-straight day to conclude its season-opening weekend at the 3 N 2 Classic hosted by Emory University. The Spartans lost their opener to No. 12 nationally ranked Emory, 7-4, but rebounded to beat Centre College (Ky.), 7-5.
For the day, junior pitcher/first baseman Rebecca Taylor (Greensburg, Pa./Greater Latrobe) was 4-for-6 with two RBI, two runs scored and a stolen base. Junior second baseman Molly O'Brien (Northbrook, Ill./Loyola) went 4-for-7 with two RBI and three steals.
Freshman Annie Wennerberg (Avon Lake, Ohio/Avon Lake) made her collegiate pitching debut and allowed just two earned runs in a combined 8 2/3 innings of work.
The Spartans were forced to play catch up versus Emory (11-0) for the second day in a row. The Eagles jumped on top with three runs in the first inning as Melody Carter hit a two-run double. In the top of the second, CWRU came right back with three of its own thanks to RBI singles by sophomore first baseman Erin Dreger (Alliance, Ohio/Alliance) and O'Brien as well as a sacrifice fly by Taylor.
After the Eagles were held scoreless in their half of the second, they struck for two in the third on a Moira Sullivan double to left center then tacked on two more in the fifth as Sullivan provided an RBI single.
Taylor (1-1) logged the first 4 1/3 innings and suffered her first loss. Wennerberg came on in relief and struck out two in 1 2/3 scoreless innings.
At the plate, O'Brien finished 3-for-4 with two RBI and a stolen base. Senior shortstop Makenzie Lein (Petersburg, Mich./Ida) was 2-for-4 with a run.
Brittany File (3-0) threw the final six innings in relief for Emory and struck out seven while allowing just one earned run. Carter and Sullivan were each 2-for-3 with three RBI.
Versus Centre (0-3), the Spartans got on the board in the bottom of the first when O'Brien singled, stole second and came around to score on an RBI single by Lein. Both teams scored three in the second as senior catcher Amy Taylor (Brier, Wash./Inglemoor) provided a key two-run single for the Spartans in the frame. After CWRU tacked on one in the third, Centre took advantage of two errors and scored twice in the fourth to tie the score at 5-5. The Spartans scored the final two runs of the game with Rebecca Taylor RBI singles in both the fourth and sixth.
On the mound, Wennerberg made her first collegiate start and pitched all seven innings for the win. In the complete game effort, the rookie hurler allowed just one earned run on six hits, while walking one and striking out five.
Offensively, Rebecca Taylor was 3-for-3 with an RBI and a run. Junior outfielder Ashley Parello (Venetia, Pa./Peters Township) went 2-for-2 with an RBI double and two runs.
The Spartans are now idle from competition until their annual spring break trip to the "Sunshine State." CWRU will play four games in two days at the Dot Richardson Spring Games on March 7-8 in Clermont, Florida then head to Altamonte Springs for the University Athletic Association Championship from March 11-15.