The Spartans jumped out to an early lead on Thursday against the third-ranked team in Division III, but Washington University (Mo.) scored seven unanswered runs in the game, as Case Western Reserve University closed out the first half of the 2016 University Athletic Association Championship Tournament with a 7-3 loss to the Bears.
The Spartans fell to 6-9 mark for the season with the loss, and to 1-4 in the UAA, while Wash U. improved to 11-2 overall and 3-2 in the UAA tournament.
At the halfway mark of competition, fourth-ranked Emory University is leading all UAA teams with a perfect 5-0 record, followed by Brandeis University and Wash U., who each have records of 3-2. NYU is in fourth place with a 2-3 mark, while CWRU and Rochester are each 1-4.
Case Western Reserve got off to a quick start in the game, when Lindsey Robinson led the contest off with a walk in the top of the first, and Katie Wede followed with a bunt single. After a sacrifice bunt from Annie Wennerberg moved the runners into scoring position, Maren Waldner drove them both in with a two-out single, putting CWRU on top 2-0.
The Bears responded immediately, scoring three in the bottom of the first, taking the lead on an RBI single from Josi Elder. Wash U. added two more in each of the third and fourth innings, taking a 7-2 advantage over the Spartans after four. A single in the top of the sixth from Kristen Klemmer plated Wennerberg, but would also cap off the scoring on the day for the Spartans.
Rebecca Molnar started and took the loss for the Spartans, dropping to 2-2, despite allowing just two earned runs through 3.1 innings of work. Katie Dzierwa turned in a solid relief effort, surrendering just a pair of hits and striking out a batter over the final 2.2 innings of the game. Wash U.'s Annie Pitkin earned the win to improve to 7-1.
The Spartans will begin the second half of the UAA Championship Tournament on Friday, March 11 with a game against New York University at 10:00 a.m., and a 1:00 p.m. game against Emory.