2017 CWRU Softball Season Recap

2017 CWRU Softball Season Recap

The Case Western Reserve University softball team recorded its sixth-consecutive winning season in 2017, finishing the campaign with an overall record of 20-17.

The Spartans ended the year strong as they won three of their last four games. All three of those wins came by the run-ahead rule, which kicks in after the losing team has completed five innings, and the winning team is ahead by eight runs or more. CWRU hit .362 as a team during the stretch and averaged 8.3 runs per game, while the pitching staff recorded a 2.25 earned run average, helping the Spartans secure the above-.500 record. Overall for the season, the Spartans hit .289 and slugged 17 home runs, with the pitching staff notching a 3.28 team ERA.

 The Spartans' success came despite playing a challenging schedule, which featured 12 games against teams that would go on to make the NCAA Division III Championship field, including a game against the subsequent NCAA Division III Softball Champions, Virginia Wesleyan College.

CWRU went 13-11 in non-conference games during the year, while also exerting its home field advantage, going 11-9 in games at Mather Park to improve to 58-22 over the last six seasons (good for a .725 winning percentage).

Case Western Reserve was paced during the season by sophomore shortstop Nicole Doyle, senior pitcher/outfielder Annie Wennerberg and junior first baseman Grace Tritchler. Doyle and Wennerberg were each selected to the National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) Division III All-Region Softball Third Team. In addition, Doyle and Tritchler were named to the All-University Athletic Association Softball First Team, while Wennerberg was selected to the All-UAA Second Team.

This was the fourth-straight year that Wennerberg has been named to the All-UAA squad, after receiving second team recognition in 2014 and 2016, and first team honors in 2015. Wennerberg was also named the UAA Most Valuable Player during the 2015 season. Tritchler's All-UAA honor was the second of her career, while Doyle's All-UAA honor was the first of her career.

Doyle had a career year after leading the team with a .391 batting average (45-for-115), three homers, 24 RBI's and 13 doubles. Doyle was also second on the team with 12 multiple-hit games. In April, she recorded two games where she hit one home run and drove in four runs to help the Spartans win each of those two games.

Tritchler, a first-time All-UAA first team selection, started all 37 games for the Spartans this season, leading the team with six home runs and 29 runs batted in, and ranking third among all CWRU players with a .336 batting average. For her career, she ranks fourth in school history with 19 home runs and seventh with 96 runs batted in. Tritchler led all Spartans with eight multiple-RBI games during the year, and was third on the team with 11 multiple-hit games.

Wennerberg finished her Spartan career with another outstanding season in 2017, batting .333 with two home runs and 13 runs batted in. On the mound, she led the Spartans with a 12-8 record and a 3.18 earned run average, while striking out 76 batters. She broke the program record for career wins in 2017 and ended her CWRU career with 53 career wins, while also ranking first in school history in career home runs (33), third in career strikeouts (389) and third in career runs batted in (113).

Other major contributors for the Spartans during the year included junior outfielder Katie Wede who ranked second on the team with 27 runs scored and set the school's single season record with 23 stolen bases, the 64th-most among NCAA Division III players and most in the UAA in 2017. Junior infielder Maren Waldner batted .339 with two home runs, six doubles and 23 RBIs, and freshman Nicole Carty tallied a .278 average with one home run, six doubles and 22 runs batted in during her inaugural campaign as a Spartan.

Adding depth on the mound behind Wennerberg were Carty and junior Katie Dzierwa. Carty saw action in eight games, recording a 1-0 record. Dzierwa appeared in 21 games during the year, recording a 2.96 ERA and striking out 31 batters in 82.2 innings of work. Dzierwa also pitched her best game of the year when she threw her first career no-hitter against Heidelberg University. During the Spartans' 9-0 win against Heidelberg in the last game of the season, Dzierwa pitched six scoreless innings, allowing zero hits and only one walk, while striking out one batter.

In addition to the team's success on the field, the Spartans excelled in the classroom as well. Doyle, Dzierwa, Tritchler, Waldner, Wede and Wennerberg all received UAA spring All-Academic recognition.      

The Spartans earned the following honors during the 2017 season:

NFCA All-Region

Nicole Doyle

Mount Vernon, Ohio / Mount Vernon

Third Team

Annie Wennerberg

Avon Lake, Ohio / Avon Lake

Third Team

 

All-UAA

Nicole Doyle

Mount Vernon, Ohio / Mount Vernon

First Team

Grace Tritchler

San Antonio, Texas / Winston Churchill

First Team

Annie Wennerberg

Avon Lake, Ohio / Avon Lake

Second Team

 

UAA Athlete of the Week

Annie Wennerberg

Avon Lake, Ohio / Avon Lake

Mar. 20

Grace Tricthler

San Antonio, Texas / Winston Churchill

Apr. 10

Katie Dzierwa

Brookfield, Ill. / Lyons Township

May 1

 

UAA All-Academic Recognition

Nicole Doyle

Mount Vernon, Ohio / Mount Vernon

Katie Dzierwa

Brookfield, Ill. / Lyons Township

Grace Tritchler

San Antonio, Texas / Winston Churchill

Maren Waldner

Redondo Beach, Calif. / Chadwick

Katie Wede

Carmel, Ind. / Carmel

Annie Wennerberg

Avon Lake, Ohio / Avon Lake

 

The following were the Spartans statistical leaders during the season:

Hitting

Batting Average

Nicole Doyle

.391

Hits

Nicole Doyle

45

Doubles

Nicole Doyle

13

Triples

Nicole Carty

2

Home Runs

Grace Tritchler

6

Runs Batted In (RBI)

Grace Tritchler

29

Pitching

Wins

Annie Wennerberg

12

Innings Pitched

Annie Wennerberg

138.2

Strikeouts

Annie Wennerberg

76

Earned Run Average (ERA)

Katie Dzierwa

2.96