The Case Western Reserve University softball team split a doubleheader at the University of Mount Union in Alliance, Ohio on Wednesday afternoon, falling 9-7 in the first game, before bouncing back for a 10-6 win in the second contest.
The Spartans now stand at 10-14 overall on the year, while Mount Union moved to 12-8 on the year.
Case Western Reserve sophomore Grace Tritchler led the Spartans during the day, hitting her team-leading fifth home run of the season during the second game, and finishing the two games a combined four-for-seven with two doubles, two walks and four runs batted in.
Game 1: Mount Union 9, CWRU 7
The Spartans attempted to rally back from a pair of five-run deficits in the first game of the day, but ultimately could not get the tying run across the plate in a 9-7 loss to the Pioneers.
Mount Union got on the board first with a run in the bottom of the first inning, but the Spartans answered immediately, tying the game with a run in the top of the second. After junior Annie Wennerberg reached on an error and senior Meghann McMahon followed with a single, sophomore Katie Wede moved both runners into scoring position with a sacrifice bunt, and senior Kristen Klemmer drove in the game-tying run with a groundout to second base.
The Raiders regained the lead with a run in the bottom of the third on a two-out RBI single from Brooke Cox, and extended their advantage to 6-1 with a four-run bottom of the fourth, that include home runs from Jessica Calhoun and Jordan Tull.
Tritchler pulled the Spartans closer with a two-out double in the top of the fifth that plated sophomores Maren Waldner and Lindsey Robinson and cut the Raiders' lead to 6-3. In the bottom of the inning, Mount Union added on two more to regain a five-run lead, 8-3.
The Spartans once again had an answer, loading the bases with no outs in the top of the sixth inning. After a fly out, freshman Nicole Doyle doubled to drive in McMahon and Wede, and Robins followed with an RBI single to score Klemmer. A two-out walk would load the bases again, before Doyle crossed the plate on a wild pitch, trimming the elad to a run, 8-7, by the end of the inning.
However, that would be as close as Case Western Reserve would get. In the bottom of the sixth, Mount Union added an unearned run, to go back on top by two, 9-7. In the top of the seventh, a walk and an error put the tying runs in scoring position for the Spartans with two outs, but a lineout to third base off Robinson's bat ended the game.
McMahon picked up three of the Spartans nine hits in the game, finishing the contest three-for-four with a run scored. Doyle added a two-for-five performance with a run scored, a double, a stolen base and two RBIs.
Wennerberg pitched the first four innings for the Spartans and took the loss, falling to 5-8 on the year. Mount Union's Erin Simmons earned the win to improve to 6-1, while Allie Scali picked up her first save of the season in the game.
Game 2: CWRU 10, Mount Union 6
The Case Western Reserve bats came alive for 10 runs in the final five innings of the game, and seven in the final three, to defeat the Raiders 10-6 during the second game. Waldner, Tritchler and Robinson tallied three hits each, as the Spartans outhit Mount Union 10-6 during the contest.
Similar to the first game, the Raiders again took an early lead with a run in the first inning. However, in the top of the third, back-to-back walks with the bases loaded to Wennerberg and Robinson scored a pair of runs and gave CWRU a 2-1 advantage. In the bottom of the inning, Mount Union responded with three runs, regaining the lead 4-2.
In the fourth, Maren Waldner singled with two outs to drive in Wede, and then Robinson scored on a wild pitch in the top of the fifth to even the score at 4-4. An RBI groundout from Doyle put the Spartans out in front, and McMahon followed with an RBI single to push the CWRU lead to 6-4. Mount Union tied the game in the fifth with two more runs, but Tritchler would hit a solo home run to lead off the sixth, giving CWRU the lead for good. After a scoreless bottom of the sixth, the Spartans added on three more in the seventh on a sacrifice fly from Waldner, an RBI double from Tritchler, and a wild pitch that would score Tritchler later in the inning. The game was called due to darkness with two outs in the top of the seventh.
Wennerberg pitched three innings in relief to earn the win in the game and improve to 6-8 on the year. Robinson was three-for-three with a walk at the plate, while Waldner and Tritchler were each three-for-four. Tritchler is now batting .380 with a team-high 24 runs batted in during the year.
Scali took the loss in game two for Mount Union, dropping to 6-5 for the campaign.
The Spartans will be back in action on Saturday, March 26th at 1:00 p.m., when the team travels Springfield, Ohio for a doubleheader against Wittenberg University.