Cuellar’s Walk-Off Secures Spartan Sweep over NYU

Cuellar’s Walk-Off Secures Spartan Sweep over NYU

Freshman Melissa Cuellar's walk-off RBI double in the bottom of the seventh inning secured the Case Western Reserve softball team's sweep of New York University on Sunday afternoon at Mather Park. The Spartans won the early contest 4-3, and then scored four runs in the seventh to win the second contest 6-5.

With the sweep, the Spartans improved to 14-9 overall and 5-4 in the UAA, while the Violets dropped to 11-9 overall and 1-3 in the conference.

Game 1: CWRU 4, NYU 3                                                 
Case Western Reserve senior Annie Wennerberg allowed just two earned runs and scattered four hits, as the Spartans overcame a late push to win 4-3 over NYU in the first game of Sunday's doubleheader.

Wennerberg struck out four and allowed one walk during her complete-game effort, earning the win to improve to 8-3 on the year.

NYU struck first in the top of the first to gain a 1-0 lead and held the Spartans scoreless until the bottom of the third. CWRU begin the bottom of the third with a single from junior Katie Wede and then she stole second to get into scoring position. Sophomore Nicole Doyle followed with a RBI double the left field line to tie the game at 1-1. Junior Grace Tritchler then delivered an RBI double to right field to score Doyle. Wennerberg then singled to centerfield to score Tricthler which gave the Spartans a 3-1 lead.

The Spartans added one more in the fifth when Tritchler hit a sacrifice fly to center to score Doyle from third. The Violets scored to two runs in the sixth to cut the Spartan lead to 4-3, but CWRU was able to hang on for the victory.

Game 2: CWRU 6, NYU 5
CWRU opened up the scoring in the late contest, scoring one run in the bottom of the first with an RBI single from Tritchler.

NYU responded in the following inning with one run, evening the score at 1-1. The next two innings went scoreless, until the Violets scored four runs in the top of the fifth to take a 5-1 lead. The Spartans responded with one run in the bottom half of the inning when Tritchler drove in another run with a single to left center.

The Spartans entered the seventh facing a 5-2 deficit before the comeback began. Doyle started the rally with a single to left field, followed by a single from junior Maren Waldner. Wennerberg then stepped to the plate and delivered a single to center that would score both runners on base. Freshman Nicole Carty followed with a RBI single down the right field line to score Wennerberg, making the game knotted at 5-5. In the next at bat, Cuellar delivered the game-winning RBI double down the right field line to give the Spartans the 6-5 walk-off victory.

The double was Cuellar's first hit of the game and fifth run-batted-in on the season. Tricthler led the Spartans at the plate with a three-for-four-performance, including two runs batted in.

Junior Katie Dzierwa got the start on the mound, going 5.1 innings and striking out one batter. Wennerberg entered the game in relief to pitch 1.2 innings and earn the win to improve to 9-3 overall on the season. Wennerberg now has 50 wins in her Spartan career, which moved her in to second place on the Spartans all-time wins list.

Karissa Zubulake took the loss for NYU and fell to 5-3 on the season.

Case Western Reserve will be back in action next weekend when the team travels to St. Louis, Missouri to take on Washington (Mo.) University for a four-game series on Friday and Saturday. The first game of the doubleheader on Friday is slated to start at 4:00 p.m. ET.