Case Western Reserve University junior Annie Wennerberg homered in each of the team's games on Wednesday afternoon, matching the program record for career home runs, and helping the Spartans to a split during the day with a 9-3 win over the University of Rochester, and a 7-6 loss against Brandeis University.
Wennerberg pulled within a home run of the record with a two-run blast in the bottom of the third against Rochester, and then matched the record against Brandeis with a two-run home run in the top of the second. The home runs were her second and third of the season, giving her 28 for her career. Wennerberg is now tied for first place in program history alongside Lauren Wolz (2009-2012). Last season, she led all Division III players with 20 home runs.
The Spartans are now 6-8 overall and 1-3 in tournament play. The Yellowjackets are now 3-5 this season and 1-3 in the UAA and the Judges improved to 3-1 in conference play and 5-3 overall.
Game 1: CWRU 9, CWRU 3
Wennerberg, sophomore Grace Tritchler and freshman Alex Favazza each hit home runs en route to a 9-3 victory over Rochester for the Spartans' first UAA Tournament win in the early game on Wednesday.
The Spartans jumped to a quick 2-0 lead in the first inning on an RBI single from Tritchler that scored Lindsey Robinson. On the same play, the Yellowjackets' second baseman made a throwing error, allowing sophomore Maren Waldner to cross home plate as well.
The Yellowjackets took a 3-2 lead in the top of the second, but the Spartans responded with five runs in the bottom of the third for a 7-3 edge, taking the lead for good. Tritchler started the scoring with a two-run home run, and Wennerberg and Favazza hit back-to-back home runs to push the lead to four runs.
Case Western Reserve put a seal on the victory bringing in two more runs in the bottom of the fifth as senior catcher Meghann McMahon singled down the leftfield line to drive in a pair of runs.
Tritchler finished the game three-for-four with two runs and three RBIs, including a double and a home run, while Favazza went two-for-four with one run, one RBI and a home run.
Senior pitcher Rebecca Molnar earned the win in relief for the Spartans, pitching 4.2 scoreless innings and allowing just one hit to improve to 2-1 for the season.
Game 2: Brandeis 7, CWRU 6
The Spartans came back from a late deficit in the second game with three runs in the top of the sixth, but the Judges scored a run in the bottom of the inning, and held on for the win, despite a CWRU threat in the seventh.
The Spartans took advantage of a Brandeis error to take a 1-0 lead in the first, but the Judges tied the game in bottom of the inning with a two-out RBI double for Madison Hunter. In the second inning, Wennerberg hit her second home run of the day, matching the school record and giving the Spartans a a 3-1 edge. However, the Judges responded with five runs in the bottom of the second, including a home run from Allison Hecht and a double from from Keri Lehtonen.
The Spartans rallied to tie the game, scoring three runs in the top of the sixth. Waldner drove in a pair of runs with a single to left center and McMahon added up a sacrifice fly to centerfield to score Waldner and even the score at 6-6.
Brandeis answered back, regaining after an RBI single from Lehtonen with two outs in the bottom of the sixth. A single and a walk for the Spartans in the top of the seventh put two players on with one out, and walk moved the go-ahead runners into scoring position with two outs, but Case Western Reserve could not push the game tying run across the plate.
The Spartans will be back in action on Thursday, March 10 with a single game at 10:00 a.m. against No. 3 Washington University (Mo.).