Junior Nicole Doyle and freshman Sarah Miller provided clutch hitting on Friday afternoon, as Miller hit a home run in the fifth inning to tie the game and Doyle hit the go-ahead RBI single in the seventh to lift the Case Western Reserve University Spartans to a 3-2 victory over 17th-ranked Hope College in game one of the best-of-three series in the NCAA Division III Super Regionals.
CWRU improved to 36-9 on the year with the victory, while the Flying Dutch dropped to 33-11 on the season.
Hope tied the game at 1-1 in the bottom of the fifth as Shay Pinhey singled up the middle to score Morgan Kanouse from second base. The next batter then put down a perfect bunt single that allowed Amanda Diaz to score, giving the Flying Dutch a 2-1 lead.
CWRU responded immediately the next half inning as Miller hammered a solo home run just inside the left field foul line. The home run was Miller's fourth of the season and was only the fourth home run allowed by Hope's Sydney Jones this season.
The score remained 2-2 until the top of the seventh when senior Katie Wede reached on an infield single. After a groundout to second base from Cleaveland that advanced Wede to second, Doyle stepped up and delivered the go-head run as she hit an RBI single to left field that scored Wede.
Sophomore Ilissa Hamilton started and went the distance as she allowed two runs on four hits and three walks, while striking out five batters. She improved to 19-5 on the season. Jones suffered the loss for Hope, falling to 20-6 on the campaign.
Wede led the Spartans at the plate as she posted a two-for-three performance, while Cleveland, Miller and Doyle each collected a hit and drove in a run.
Case Western Reserve and Hope will play game two of the series tomorrow afternoon at 1:00 p.m. in Holland, Michigan. If necessary, a third game will be played at 3:30 p.m. or shortly following the first game to decide which team is headed to Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.
Fans can watch the action tomorrow with live video at https://www.youtube.com/watch?reload=9&v=YdAvjRTpXvo.