Case Western Reserve University senior second baseman Maren Waldner was named the 2018 University Athletic Association Position Player of the Year, highlighting a list of six total Spartans who were selected to receive all-conference honors. In addition, CWRU Head Coach Josie Henry and her assistant coaches were selected as the UAA Coaching Staff of the Year for 2018.
The Spartans placed a league-high five student-athletes on the All-UAA First Team in Waldner, freshman pitcher Sidney Brannam, sophomore pitcher Ilissa Hamilton, senior first baseman Grace Tritchler and senior outfielder Katie Wede. Junior shortstop Nicole Doyle was a second-team selection.
Waldner, UAA Position Player of the Year and First Team All-UAA selection, has posted one of the best years in the history of Case Western Reserve University softball. Waldner led the UAA with a .489 batting average (68-for-139), and her 68 hits currently rank seventh in Division III. She also hit two home runs, 14 doubles and scored a team-high 38 runs, while also driving in 31 runs. In 148 games played throughout her career, she has hit .376 with five home runs, 32 doubles and 81 RBI's.
Brannam ranks second in the UAA with 15 wins (15-4 overall) and third with a 1.94 earned run average. She led the team in wins and earned run average as she totaled 108.1 innings pitched. Brannam allowed 30 earned runs over her 108.1 innings pitched on 117 hits, while striking out 49 batters. She earned UAA Pitcher of the Week honors twice during her freshman campaign.
Hamilton, a sophomore transfer, led the conference with 146 strikeouts in her first year as a Spartan. She went 14-4 overall on the mound, as she allowed 51 earned runs on 98 hits for a 2.88 ERA. Hamilton also totaled a team-high 14 complete games. In addition to her work on the mound, Hamilton batted .309 (30-for-97) with one home run, seven doubles, nine RBI's and 21 runs scored. She was named UAA Pitcher of the Week on three different occasions during the season.
Tritchler, a two-time All-UAA first team selection, started all 39 games for the Spartans, leading the team with six home runs and 34 runs batted in, and ranking second among all CWRU players with a .410 batting average. She currently ranks second in the UAA in home runs and leads the conference in RBI's. For her career, she ranks third in school history with 25 home runs and second in runs batted in with 130.
Wede, a two-time All-UAA first team selection, became the program's all-time stolen bases leader as she surpassed former Spartan Molly O'Brien's record of 66. She finished the regular season with 70 career stolen bases after stealing a team-high 20 stolen bases during the 2018 season. Wede batted .308 (40-for-130) with one home run, four doubles, 14 RBI's and 34 runs scored.
Doyle finished her junior season ranked third among CWRU players with a .357 batting average. She finished second on the team with five home runs, while also collecting 14 doubles, 26 RBI's and scoring 32 runs. Doyle earned UAA Hitter of the Week honors on April 30th, as she led the Spartans during the final week of the regular season with a .429 batting average (12-for-28) and scored six runs, while also hitting two home runs and driving in six RBI's.
The Spartans' coaching staff was named the UAA Coaching Staff of the Year for the third time in program history, with two occurring during Henry's eight years at its helm. Along with Henry, assistant coaches Shannel Blackshear, Ashley Parello, Hannah Mehrle, Andrea Nagy, Annie Wennerberg and Katelyn Gibson all shared the honor, after helping to lead the Spartans to the second-most regular season wins in program history.
Case Western Reserve finished the 2018 regular season with a 31-8 overall record, including a 10-6 mark in UAA play. The Spartans received an at-large bid to the NCAA playoff field and will travel to Notre Dame, Indiana for the regional round of the tournament this weekend. CWRU will open the regional against Ohio Northern University on Friday, May 11th at 12:00 p.m.