Spartan Softball Shuts Out Rochester 4-0; Falls to Brandeis

Grace Tritchler (Photo by David Schofield)
Grace Tritchler (Photo by David Schofield)

The Case Western Reserve University softball team picked up its second win of the 2016 University Athletic Association Championships on Saturday with a 4-0 shutout against the University of Rochester Yellowjackets before closing the day with an 8-4 loss against the Brandeis University Judges.

With the split, Case Western Reserve moved to 7-12 overall on the year, including a 2-7 mark at the 2016 UAA Championships.  The win over the Yellowjackets also gave the Spartans a sweep of the two-game series against Rochester at the tournament.

Game 1: CWRU 4, Rochester 0
The Spartans made the most of their five hits and took advantage of three errors and five walks from the Yellowjackets to claim a 4-0 win over Rochester in the early game.

The game went scoreless until the fourth inning, when the Spartans broke through for three runs, making the most out of Rochester's mistakes with an aggressive running game.  With two outs and the bases loaded in the top of the fourth, Abbey Filliez scored from third on a passed ball.  A batter later, Lindsey Robinson scored from third on a wild pitch, and then Kristen Klemmer stole home, extending the CWRU lead to 3-0.

The score remained 3-0 until the top of the sixth, when Nicole Doyle doubled with one out, and moved to third on a groundout.  Annie Wennerberg followed with a base hit to score Doyle, and give the Spartans a 4-0 advantage.

Wennerberg and Katie Dzierwa combined for a six-hit shutout, the Spartans' first shutout of the 2016 campaign.  Wennerberg pitched five scoreless innings, allowing three hits and striking out two, while walking a batter, en route to earning the win to improve to 4-5 for the year.  Dzierwa closed out the game with a pair of shutout innings to complete the win.

Klemmer reached base on three walks during the game, going 0-1 with a run scored and a stolen base.  Robinson and Doyle each finished the day one-for-two with a run scored apiece, while Wennerberg went one-for-three at the plate with the only RBI of the day for the Spartans, adding a sacrifice bunt and a stolen base.

Sam Malecki took the loss for Rochester in the game, falling to 2-2 for the season, as Rochester dropped to 3-9 overall and to 1-7 in UAA play.

Game 2: Brandeis 8, CWRU 4
First baseman Grace Tritchler paced the Spartans at the plate in the second game, going three-for-four with a double, a home run and three runs batted in, but it was not enough for Case Western Reserve, which fell 8-4 to Brandeis in its second game of the day.

After taking a 1-0 lead in the top of the first, Brandeis added six in the second on a grand slam by Keri Lehtonen and a two-run home runs from Madison Sullivan, extending its lead to 7-0.

CWRU's Robinson opened the third inning with a base hit, and moved to third on a one-out double from Doyle.  Wennerberg followed with a sacrifice fly to score Robinson, and then Tritchler homered over the wall in right center to cut the Judges' lead to 7-3 after three.

Brandeis added a run on a hit by pitch with the bases loaded in the fourth to increase the lead to 8-3.  An RBI double from Tritcher in the fifth scored Doyle and trimmed the lead to 8-4, but the Spartans would not score again in the game.

Doyle and Maren Waldner each went two-for-four in the game with a double apiece, with Doyle scoring a pair of runs.  Wennerberg took the loss in the game, falling to 4-6 on the year, while Dzierwa held Brandeis to just one unearned run over 5.1 innings of work in relief, striking out three and scattering six hits.

Dzierwa is now second among all qualifying pitchers at the UAA Championships with a 1.20 ERA through eight appearances and 23.1 innings pitched during the tournament.

Melissa Soleimani pitched the complete game for Brandeis, earning the win to improve to 3-4 overall on the year, as the Judges improved to 8-6 overall with a 6-3 UAA mark.

The Spartans will conclude the 2016 UAA Championship Tournament with a 10:00 a.m. game against Washington University (Mo.) in Altamonte Springs, Florida.