The Case Western Reserve University softball team split its final two games at the Tucson Invitational in Tucson, Arizona on Friday, as the Spartans fell to Buena Vista University 7-5 in the first, but then earned 5-0 victory the University of Wisconsin at Platteville in the second game.
With the split, the Spartans now stand at 4-4 on the year, while Buena Vista improves to 7-3 overall and Platteville drops to 1-2 on the season.
Game 1: Buena Vista 7, CWRU 5
The Spartans got on the board early, as freshman Liv Thomas launched a two-run home run in the top first inning that gave CWRU a 2-0 lead. The Spartans added to their lead in the top of th third, when senior Nicole Doyle hit a RBI double to left field that scored Thomas.
The Bruins fired back the next half inning, as they erupted for six runs in the inning to take a 6-3 lead. Buena Vista added another run in the bottom of the fourth as they increased their advantage to 7-3.
CWRU attempted a comeback in the fifth as Doyle laced a two-run RBI single up the middle to cut the deficit to 7-5. However, the Spartans were unable to score throughout the remainder of the game as the Bruins captured the 7-5 victory.
Doyle led the Spartans at the plate, going a perfect four-for-four with runs batted in, while Thomas went two-for-four with two runs scored and two runs driven in.
Junior Ilissa Hamilton started and took the loss for CWRU, falling to 2-2 on the year. Peyton Gross picked up the win for Buena Vista, improving to 4-0.
Game 2: CWRU 5, Wis.-Platteville 0
Sophomore Sarah Miller paced the Spartans at the plate in the second game, going for two-for-three with a run scored, while sophomore Dusstyn Reynolds went one-for-two with two runs batted in.
CWRU broke through in the bottom of the first when sophomore Arisa Cleaveland scored after a wild pitch. The Spartans then executed an outstanding double steal as Reynolds stole home and junior Nicole Carty stole second.
The score remained 2-0 until the bottom of the second, when Reynolds laced a RBI double the right field line that scored sophomore Sydney Wagner and Cleaveland.
CWRU added an insurance run in the bottom of the sixth as Wagner hit a sacrifice fly to center field that scored Miller from third to give the Spartans a 5-0 advantage.
Sophomore Sidney Brannam went the distance for a six-hit shutout, the Spartans' second shutout of the 2019 campaign. She pitched seven scoreless innings, allowing six hits and five walks, while striking out six batters, en route to earning the win to improve to 2-2 on the year.
Case Western Reserve will return to Cleveland next week and will prepare to play their first home games of the campaign, as they welcome Baldwin Wallace University to Mather Park for a non-conference doubleheader on Wednesday, March 20th. The first pitch of the first game is slated for 3:00 p.m.