ALTAMONTE SPRINGS, Fla. - Behind two strong outings from freshman pitcher Annie Wennerberg (Avon Lake, Ohio/Avon Lake), the Case Western Reserve University softball team won twice to move into sole possession of first place at the 2014 University Athletic Association Championship at Seminole Field.
The Spartans (8-3, 3-0 UAA) upset No. 17 Washington University in St. Louis, 2-1, then shut out the University of Rochester (N.Y.), 3-0. CWRU is the only unbeaten team remaining at the UAA Championship with five games remaining.
The entire day was delayed more than five hours due to morning rain.
Wennerberg (5-0) continued the stellar start to her freshman campaign with 10 innings of one-run ball and 11 strikeouts. Through 34.2 innings this season, the rookie hurler boasts a 1.01 ERA with 29 strikeouts.
Versus the Bears (8-2, 1-2 UAA), a pitcher's dual between Wennerberg and Bears' sophomore Annie Pitkin left the game scoreless through four innings. In the bottom of the fifth, the Spartans broke through with a two-out, two-run single by junior second baseman Molly O'Brien (Northbrook, Ill./Loyola).
The Bears got one run back in the sixth with a Brooke Hofer RBI single, but Wennerberg was able to induce a groundout to strand a pair of Washington runners in scoring positions. Junior pitcher Rebecca Taylor (Greensburg, Pa./Greater Latrobe) then came on in relief and tossed a scoreless seventh for her first save of 2014.
Pitkin (4-1) took her first loss of the year for the Bears with six innings of three-hit ball. Maggie Ingell and Stacy Berg each recorded two hits.
Against the Yellowjackets (4-3, 1-2 UAA), the Spartans scored once in the third and twice in the fifth. O'Brien went 3-for-4 with two stolen bases and two runs scored. Taylor finished 2-for-3 with an RBI and a walk.
On the mound, Wennerberg threw the first four innings and struck out three. Taylor once again recorded the save with three shutout innings.
Eleni Wechsler (2-1) took the loss for Rochester with two earned runs allowed in 4 2/3 innings. Alyssa Murillo went 2-for-3 at the plate.
The Spartans face a showdown with No. 9 nationally ranked Emory University (Ga.) tomorrow morning at 10:00 a.m. CWRU will then play Brandeis University (Mass.) at 12:30 p.m.