The Case Western Reserve University softball team, ranked 22nd in Division III, split a doubleheader at Kenyon College in Gambier, Ohio on Saturday afternoon. Kenyon came away with the victory in the early contest, 3-2, but the Spartans rallied back in the second game of the doubleheader to win 8-7.
With the split, CWRU now has an overall record of 12-2, while the Ladies moved to 13-7 overall on the season.
Game 1: Kenyon 3, CWRU 2
The early game on Saturday featured a pitcher's duel between Kenyon's Amanda Coyle and CWRU sophomore Ilissa Hamilton. Neither team scored until the top of the fifth, when senior Maren Waldner hit a double to left center to drive in junior Nicole Doyle.
The Spartans held the 1-0 lead until the bottom of the sixth when Kenyon got on the board to even the game at 1-1. CWRU answered the following half inning when sophomore Nicole Carty drew a bases loaded walk to score Doyle, giving the Spartans a 2-1 lead going into the bottom of the seventh. However, the Ladies went on to score two runs in the bottom of the inning to earn the 3-2 walk-off win.
Waldner led the Spartans offensively as she went two-for-four with one double and one run batted in. Freshman Dusstyn Reynolds also put in a good performance at the plate, as she went two-for-three with one walk.
Hamilton started the game and allowed one earned run on three hits while striking out 10 batters. Senior Katie Dzierwa pitched in relief, allowing one hit. Hamilton took the loss, dropping to 4-1 on the year, while Coyle collected the win for the Ladies to improve to 4-1.
Game 2: CWRU 8, Kenyon 7
The Case Western Reserve bats came alive for six runs in the final three innings of the game, to defeat the Ladies 8-7 during the second game. Sophomore Melissa Cuellar led CWRU at the plate with a three-for-three performance, including a double, home run and three runs batted in.
The Spartans took the early lead as they scored two runs in the top of the first. Waldner stole home to give CWRU a 1-0 lead and then freshman Arisa Cleaveland hit an RBI single up the middle to score senior Grace Tritchler. Kenyon responded the next half inning with three runs of their own to take a 3-2 lead.
The score would remain 3-2 until the top of the fifth inning when Tritchler lined a double to left center to score Doyle, evening the score at 3-3. The Ladies answered again in the following half inning with two runs to regain the lead at 5-3.
CWRU then erupted in the top of the sixth with three runs to take a 6-5 lead. Cuellar started the scoring with an RBI double that scored freshman Sarah Miller. Waldner then singled to center field to score Cuellar. Tritchler delivered the go-ahead run with a sacrifice fly to right field to score senior Katie Wede.
The Spartans added two more runs in the top of the seventh when Cuellar hit her first home run of the season, a two-run shot, which scored Miller. Kenyon attempted a comeback in the bottom half of the inning with two runs to cut their deficit to 8-7, but the Spartans held on to secure the 8-7 victory.
Freshman Sidney Brannam started and only went one inning. Carty came on in relief and pitched five innings to earn the win, improving to 1-0 on the year. Dzierwa closed out the game in the seventh to pick up her first save of the season.
In addition to Cuellar at the plate, Waldner, Tritchler, Carty and Cleaveland each collected two hits during the second game.
Case Western Reserve will be back in action on Tuesday, March 27th when the team travels to Berea, Ohio to take on the Baldwin Wallace University Yellow Jackets. The first game of the doubleheader is scheduled to start at 3:00 p.m.