Spartan Softball Rallies for Wild Doubleheader Split at Marietta

(L-R): Molly O'Brien and Rachel Komar (photo by Lynne Browske)
(L-R): Molly O'Brien and Rachel Komar (photo by Lynne Browske)

MARIETTA, Ohio – Led by a pair of clutch hits from sophomore third baseman/centerfielder Rachel Komar (Chesterland, Ohio/West Geauga), the Case Western Reserve University softball team rallied from three runs down late in game two to earn a doubleheader split with Marietta College on Sunday afternoon at Marietta Field.

The Spartans (13-9) lost the opener, 5-4, as the Pioneers (9-7) scored three in the bottom of the seventh for a walk-off win. In game two, it was the Spartans that rallied from a 4-1 deficit after five innings to eventually claim a 9-5 victory in eight innings. Komar tied game two with a two-out RBI triple in the seventh then provided a three-run single in extras.

Komar finished the doubleheader with three hits and five RBI. Junior second baseman Molly O'Brien (Northbrook, Ill./Loyola) was 5-for-8 with two doubles, two runs scored, an RBI and a stolen base.

In the opener, Marietta broke a scoreless tie with two runs in the fourth on an RBI double by Brianna Finck and an RBI single by Brey Mays. The Spartans got one back in the fifth via a Komar sacrifice fly then moved ahead in the sixth with a two-run double off of the bat of freshman pitcher Annie Wennerberg (Avon Lake, Ohio/Avon Lake).

After a Spartan run in the seventh pushed the visitor lead to 4-2, the Pioneers rallied to win the game with three in the bottom of the inning on a Trinity Schlabach RBI single followed by a Kelsey Kallenborn two-run triple.

Courtney Kerwood (1-0) picked up the win on the mound for Marietta with in two innings of relief. Wennerberg (7-2) struck out seven, but was saddled with the complete-game loss for the Spartans.

Offensively, O'Brien finished 3-for-3 with a walk and a steal. Wennerberg and junior outfielder Ashley Parello (Venetia, Pa./Peters Township) were each 2-for-3.

Finck went 2-for-3 with an RBI and a run for Marietta.

The Spartans grabbed a 1-0 lead in game two when Parello doubled then came around to score on a sacrifice fly by junior pitcher Rebecca Taylor (Greensburg, Pa./Greater Latrobe). That lead held until the Pioneers scored a pair in the third on a Cierra Bloom RBI double followed by a Hannah Tarski RBI single. The hosts then added two more to their lead in the fourth with a two-run double by Kerwood.

The Spartans pulled to within 4-2 with a two-out RBI single from Parello in the sixth then tied the score with a pair of clutch, two-out hits in the seventh. O'Brien singled home sophomore pinch runner Kristen Klemmer (Orchard Park, N.Y./Orchard Park) and came home one batter later when Komar tripled to left.  

After sophomore reliever Rebecca Molnar (Independence, Ohio/Independence) held the Pioneers scoreless in the seventh, the Spartans won the game with five runs on six hits in the eighth. Senior shortstop Makenzie Lein (Petersburg, Mich./Ida) hit a bases-loaded RBI single to open the scoring, and Komar later cleared the bases with a single. Lein's run on the play gave her 110 for her career – three shy of tying Carla Kinyon's (1998-01) school career record (113).

Marietta did score once in its half of the eighth, but Molnar induced a game-ending double play when the bases were loaded. Overall, Molnar (2-0) allowed just one run while striking out three in 4 1/3 innings of relief.

Schlabach (2-4) allowed one run in the first five innings but was saddled with the loss when she allowed three runs in relief.

At the plate, Komar was 3-for-4 with a career-high four RBI. Parello finished 2-for-2 with a walk, a run and an RBI.

For the Pioneers, Tarski and Finick were each 2-for-4.

The Spartans return to action with two games at the University of Mount Union at 3:00 p.m. on Thursday, April 3 in Alliance, Ohio. The team hopes that Mother Nature will finally allow for the home opener at Mather Park on Saturday, April 5 versus The College of Wooster.