Spartan Softball Splits on First Day of Tucson Invite

Spartan Softball Splits on First Day of Tucson Invite

The Case Western Reserve University softball team picked up their first win of the 2019 campaign at the Tucson Invitational in Tucson, Arizona, as the Spartans topped 15th-ranked Central College 8-0 in five innings in the first game of the day, but fell 5-4 to Millikin University in the late contest.

The Spartans moved to 1-3 on the season with the split, while the Dutch dropped to 1-1 overall and the Big Blue improved to 4-2 on the season.

Game 1: CWRU 8, #15 Central 0 (5 innings)
The Spartans scored all of their runs in the first and fifth innings to secure the 8-0 win over the Dutch in the first game on Monday.

Junior Ilissa Hamilton went the distance in the game, holding Central scoreless on two hits and one walk, while striking out six batters. It was her first win of the season.

Sophomore Sarah Miller, who went one-for-three on the day, got the Spartans on the board in the first inning with a two-run double to left field that scored sophomore Arisa Cleaveland and senior Nicole Doyle. Junior Nicole Carty then drove in Miller with a double to center field that increased the CWRU lead to 3-0. The Spartans added one more run in the inning to gain the 4-0 advantage.

The game remained 4-0 until the bottom of the fifth inning when junior Caitlin Smith hit into a fielder's choice that scored Carty from third base. Hamilton then singled up the middle to score junior Melissa Cuellar. CWRU capped off the run-rule victory when freshman Liv Thomas laced a single to center that scored Smith and Hamilton.

Mariah Fritz started and suffered the loss for Central, dropping to 1-1 on the season.

Game 2: Millikin 5, CWRU 4
The Big Blue got on the board first as they scored four runs in the bottom of the first inning, including a two-run RBI double from Skielyr Trenkle and a RBI single from Alyssa White. The Spartans were able to cut the lead to 4-1 in the top of the third when sophomore Dusstyn Reynolds hit a double to left center field that scored freshman Brittany Hoopingarner.

CWRU continued to fight back in the top of the fourth when freshman Liv Thomas hit first collegiate home run of her career, as she launched a two-run shot to left center that cut the deficit to 4-3.

Millikin added a run in the bottom of the fourth and then the Spartans once again responded with a run of their own in the top of the fifth. CWRU was able to load the bases and then Miller was hit by a pitch that allowed Doyle to score from third. However, the Spartans were unable to score the equalizer as the Big Blue secured the 5-4 victory.

Doyle led the Spartans at the plate as she went two-for-three with a walk, while Thomas added a one-for-three performance with one home run and two RBI's.

Sophomore Sidney Brannam started and took the loss for CWRU, falling to 0-2 on the year. Aly Armstrong picked up the win for Millikin, improving to 1-0, while Rachel Patting earned the save, her first of the season.

The Spartans will continue play at the Tucson Invitational on Tuesday, March 12th with a game against Cornell College at 6:30 p.m. ET and round out the second day of competition against Dickinson College at 9:00 p.m. ET.