The Case Western Reserve University softball opened its 2016 home schedule with a sweep of a doubleheader over Hiram College at Mather Park on Tuesday afternoon, picking up a 7-5 over the Terriers in the early contest, and an 8-1 victory in the late affair.
The two wins raised the Spartans' record to 12-16 on the year, while Hiram fell to 5-13 overall with the losses.
Junior Annie Wennerberg picked up the victories on the mound in each of the two games, improving to 8-9 on the season, while allowing just three earned runs in 11 innings of work during the day. Freshman shortstop Nicole Doyle led the Spartans at the plate with a four-for-six effort, including three doubles and four runs batted in, while sophomore center fielder Katie Wede was four-for-seven with three RBIs for the day.
Game 1: CWRU 7, Hiram 5
The Spartans took the early lead in the first game of the day, and were able to withstand a late push from the Terriers to hold on for a 7-5 victory.
Case Western Reserve scored four runs off Hiram starter Meghan Garland in the top of the first inning to take the early lead in the game. Doyle scored on a wild pitch to get the Spartans' on the board, and Wennerberg plated a second run with an RBI double, scoring sophomore third baseman Maren Waldner. The Spartans added on two more in the inning, when Wennerberg scored a run of her own on a wild pitch, and when senior catcher Meghann McMahon came across the plate on a two-out error.
After Hiram cut the lead in half with a pair of runs in the third, sophomore Wede and freshman designated player Alex Favazza each notched RBI singles in the bottom of the inning to bring the CWRU lead back to four, 6-2.
The Terriers attempted a late comeback, scoring three unearned runs in the top of the fifth to cut the Spartans' lead down to just a run, 6-5. However, the Spartans added a run in the bottom of the fifth on a Doyle sacrifice fly, en route to the win.
Wennerberg went the distance on the mound in the game for the Spartans, scattering 10 hits and a walk, while striking out four and yielding just two earned runs. Doyle, sophomore first baseman Grace Tritchler, Wennerberg and Wede each had a pair of the Spartans' 12 hits in the game.
Garland took the loss for Hiram on the mound, falling to 2-7 on the year.
Game 2: CWRU 8, Hiram 1
Hiram struck first in game two, but the Spartans scored eight unanswered runs to go on to an 8-1 victory to complete the sweep of the doubleheader.
After a scoreless first inning, Hiram took a 1-0 lead in the top of the second. However, CWRU responded with three in the bottom of the inning, when Doyle hit a two-out, bases loaded double that scored all three runners. The Spartans made it 4-1 in the bottom of the third, when Waldner scored on a two-out error, and then added three more in the fourth, when Wede plated a pair with a double, and later scored on an RBI single from Tritchler.
The Spartans capped off the scoring in the bottom of the sixth, when Wede scored from third, after Waldner was caught in a rundown attempting to steal second base.
Wennerberg pitched the first four innings of the game, allowing just a run on six hits without walking a batter to earn the victory. Sophomore Katie Dzierwa did not allow a run and surrendered only one hit with five strikeouts over the final three innings, picking up her third save of the year in the process.
At the plate, Doyle went two-for-four with two doubles and three RBIs, while Wede added a two-for-three day with two runs scored, two stolen bases, and a pair of runs batted in and a double.
The Spartans will look to extend their winning streak this weekend, when the team plays host to the College of Wooster for a doubleheader at Mather Park, starting at 1:00 p.m.