ALTAMONTE SPRINGS, Fla. – Junior outfielder Ashley Parello (Venetia, Pa./Peters Township) totaled four homeruns and nine RBI for the day as the Case Western Reserve University softball team split a pair of games to remain in first place at the 2014 University Athletic Association Championship at Seminole Field.
Behind a trifecta of two-run homers, the Spartans (9-4, 4-1 UAA) rallied from five down to upset No. 9 nationally ranked Emory University (Ga.), 6-5, in game one. Then in a wild 10-inning affair versus Brandeis University (Mass.), the Spartans fell by a score of 12-11.
With three games remaining at the UAA Championship, the Spartans hold a one-game lead on four-time defending champion Emory and a two-game advantage on both Brandeis and Washington University in St. Louis. CWRU has three UAA Championships in softball in 1997, 1998 and 1999.
In the opening game, Emory (22-2, 3-2 UAA) built a 5-0 lead with a single run in the first and four more in the top of the fifth. Claire Bailey homered for the first run, while Moira Sullivan and Lauren Gorodetsky drove in runs in the fifth.
In the bottom of the fifth, the Spartans put on their "rally caps" as Parello hit the first of her homers following a single by sophomore third baseman Erin Dreger (Alliance, Ohio/Alliance). Two batters later, senior shortstop Makenzie Lein (Petersburg, Mich./Ida) singled to set the stage for another two-run homer, this one by senior second baseman Molly O'Brien (Northbrook, Ill./Loyola).
In the the sixth, sophomore Marisa Kohley (Gibsonia, Pa./Pine-Richland) pitched her second strong inning of relief to keep the deficit at 5-4. Then in the CWRU half of the inning, it was once again Dreger who reached base to set up Parello for another two-run homer to right center.
Junior Rebecca Taylor (Greensburg, Pa./Greater Latrobe) then hit the mound in the seventh and retired Emory in order for her third save of the season. Kohley (1-1) wound up throwing two shutout innings for the win.
Offensively, Parello was 2-for-4 with four RBI.
Brittany File (7-1) took the loss for the Eagles after coming on in relief of Amanda Kardys in the sixth inning. Bailey and Cortney Sugihara each had two hits for Emory.
Against Brandeis (8-3, 2-3 UAA), a Dreger RBI single in the bottom of the first tied the score at 1-1 and loaded the bases for Parello. The third-year Spartan then hit her second career grandslam to put her team on top, 5-1. The Spartan lead grew to 8-1 in the second as sophomore designated player Gena Roberts (Miami, Fla./Palmer-Trinity) and Dreger each provided RBI singles.
Refusing to go away, the Judges pulled to within 8-5 in the top of the third after a grandslam from Danielle Novotny. The Spartans got single runs in the third and fourth, but Brandeis quickly came back with four in the fifth as Amanda Genovese provided a two-run double.
In the sixth, Brandeis momentarily tied the score thanks to an error. However, Parello came up in the bottom of the frame and went deep to to right for her fourth HR of the afternoon. Another Spartan error with two out in the top of the seventh allowed the Judges to tie the score at 11-11.
Two scoreless extra innings ensued before Brandeis scored the winner in the 10th.
Taylor (2-3) pitched two separate stints and was the victim of errors as she allowed just two earned runs in six innings.
Samantha Wroblewski (4-1) allowed just one run in five innings for the win.
The Spartans play just once tomorrow in a key rematch with No. 17 Washington-St. Louis at 12:30 p.m. CWRU upset the Bears, 2-1, on Wednesday.