The calendar tells us that it is the last week of March, meaning spring began and softball season is well under way. Unfortunately, the weather here in Cleveland has yet to receive the memo. In the last week alone the Spartans have endured two rained out games, with the other two scheduled games moved to Cleveland State’s Krenzler Dome. Those games constituted a doubleheader for the Spartans against Trine University, currently ranked as the number 13 softball team among division three schools in the country.
Unfortunately, the disparity between the teams showed during both ends of the doubleheader as the Spartans got swept. In the first game Trine pitcher Bree Fuller kept the Spartans hitters off balance all afternoon, pitching her team to a 5-0 victory. Fuller went the distance in the game, surrendering only five hits and recording seven strikeouts. For the Spartans pitcher Annie Wennerburg got knocked around, yielding five runs on a whopping 11 hits in 5.2 innings. Trine’s team wasted no time taking the lead, scoring a first inning run to put the Spartans behind before they even came to bat. Although Wennerburg held them at bay for a while after that, Trine’s team eventually broke through for two runs in the fifth inning and two more in the sixth to ice the game.
In the second game of the doubleheader, the Spartans actually faced an even larger deficit before making a spirited comeback attempt in the late innings. Despite surrendering seven runs, Fuller pitched her second complete game of the day. Pitchers Rebecca Taylor and Marisa Kohley did not fare quite as well for the Spartans, combining to surrender nine runs in five innings. When the Spartans came to bat in the bottom of the fifth inning, they were facing a 9-2 deficit. However, they quickly rallied for four runs in the inning, highlighted by a three run home run off the bat of shortstop Makenzie Lein. In the blink of an eye, the deficit was cut to 9-6 and the Spartans had new life. The comeback bid ultimately fell short as the Spartans dropped the game 10-7, but they could hold their heads high knowing they put a scare into one of the best teams in the nation.
With the doubleheader sweep, the Spartans fall to 10-8 on the season. Weather permitting, the Spartans will hit the road on Saturday as they play Wittenberg University. The results of their doubleheader on Thursday against Westminster University can be found on the Spartans’ athletic department website.