The Case Western Reserve University softball team will be playing in the Super Regional of the NCAA Championships for the first time in program history after sweeping the Ohio Northern University Polar Bears on Sunday in the Notre Dame Regional. The Spartans started the day by shutting out the Polar Bears 5-0, and then won the second contest by a score of 5-1. CWRU is now 35-9 on the year, while ONU finished out its season at 32-11.
The Spartans will now await the winner of the Hope College vs. Calvin College Regional Championship game that is being held in Holland, Michigan tomorrow at 12:00 p.m. The winner of that regional will play the Spartans in the NCAA Super Regional at a site to be determined from Friday, May 18th through Saturday, May 19th.
Game 1: CWRU 5, ONU 0
Case Western Reserve collected 12 hits, en route to a 5-0 win over Ohio Northern in the early game on Sunday.
The Spartans were able to cash in on three runs in the top of the first inning after a RBI groundout from junior Nicole Doyle, a RBI single from senior Maren Waldner and then a RBI groundout from senior Grace Tritchler.
CWRU added another run in the second when freshman Sarah Miller hit a RBI single through the left side of the infield that scored freshman Dusstyn Reynolds. The Spartans capped off their scoring in the fourth after a RBI single from freshman Arisa Cleaveland to secure the 5-0 victory.
Sophomore Ilissa Hamilton did not allow a run in her six innings pitched during the game, allowing just four hits and a walk, while striking out five batters. She improved to 17-5 on the season with the win. Senior Katie Dzierwa pitched one inning in relief, allowing two hits and a walk, while striking out two batters.
Wede and Cleaveland each finished the first game with a three-for-four performance at the plate, while Waldner and Reynolds also accounted for two hits apiece.
Kirsten Lightel suffered the loss for ONU in the early contest, as she dropped to 20-4 on the year.
Game 2: CWRU 5, ONU 1
CWRU started the second game against the Polar Bears similar to the way they started the first game, as the Spartans put three runs on the board in the bottom of the first. Doyle laced a two-run RBI triple to the right center field gap to drive in Wede and Cleaveland, and then Waldner lifted a sacrifice fly to left field that scored Doyle from third.
The Spartans added another run in the bottom of the second when Wede hit a RBI single that scored freshman Sydney Wagner from third base, increasing the lead to 4-0.
Ohio Northern got on the board in the top of the fourth with a run of their own, as they cut the Spartan lead to 4-1.
CWRU responded the next half inning with a RBI single from Reynolds that scored sophomore Caitlin Smith, giving the Spartans a 5-1 lead.
Hamilton started and pitched another outstanding game, as she allowed zero earned runs on six hits and struck out five batters during her six innings. She moved to 17-5 on the season with the victory. Freshman Sidney Brannam came on to pitch the last inning as she secured the 5-1 victory
Doyle led the Spartans at the plate during the second game, going two-for-three with a triple and two runs batted in. Wede and sophomore Nicole Carty each added two hit performances.
Hamilton was named the Notre Dame Regional Most Outstanding Player, after throwing 29 of a possible 35 innings, compiling an ERA of 0.72 to go along with 23 strikeouts. Other Case Western Reserve representatives on the All-Regional Team included freshman Sarah Miller, freshman Arisa Cleaveland and junior Nicole Doyle.
--All Notre Dame Regional Team
Hannah Ruby - Mount Aloysius, P
Makenzie Duncan - Saint Mary's, OF
Jamie Young - Saint Mary's, SS
Kirsten Lightel - Ohio Northern, P
Jenna Hollar - Ohio Northern, OF
Alicia Swierz - Ohio Northern, P/OF
Sarah Miller - Case Western, OF
Arisa Cleaveland - Case Western, OF
Nicole Doyle - Case Western, IF
Most Outstanding Player
Ilissa Hamilton - Case Western, P