The Case Western Reserve University softball defeated 14th-ranked Rowan University in extra innings by a score of 2-1 on Friday to advance at the 2018 NCAA Division III Softball Championships in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.
The Spartans upped their season slate to 38-11 overall, while Rowan ended their 2018 campaign with an overall record of 39-13-1.
The second game of the NCAA Championships in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma was a pitcher's duel, as both teams were held scoreless until the bottom of the fifth inning when the Spartans put the first run on the board. Freshman Arisa Cleaveland delivered a RBI groundout to the the Profs third baseman that scored freshman Dusstyn Reynolds.
Rowan responded immediately in the following half inning, as Kelly Duffy lined a solo home run to left center field to even the score at 1-1.
The score remained 1-1 until the bottom of the eighth inning. Senior Maren Waldner was able to draw a walk and then freshman Sarah Miller was hit by a pitch, putting runners at first and second. Senior Grace Tritchler then stepped up to the plate and hit a blooper to shallow center field that dropped between three Rowan players, allowing Waldner to come all the way around to score the walk-off run.
Sophomore Ilissa Hamilton was outstanding again on the mound, as she allowed only one earned run in eight innings. With the win, Hamilton set the school's new single-season record for wins in a season with 21 (21-7), as she passed former Spartan Rebecca Taylor who won 20 games during the 2012 season. In addition, Hamilton struck out four batters in the game which also set the school's new single-season record for strikeouts, as she now has 183 on the season. She surpassed Taylor's previous record of 181 set in 2012.
Jesse DeDomenico suffered the loss for the Profs, as she fell to 23-9 on the season.
Case Western Reserve will now move on to face the loser of the game between first-ranked Virginia Wesleyan University and 16th-ranked Luther College, which is being played tomorrow at 2:30 p.m. ET. The Spartans will face the loser of that game at 7:30 p.m. ET tomorrow.