Softball sets program record with 14 straight wins


Courtesy of CWRU Athletics

Third-year KaiLi Gross was one of several key players in the CWRU softball team’s 14 consecutive wins.

Puneet Bansal, Sports Editor

Like several other successful teams this season, the Case Western Reserve University softball team has gotten off to an impressive start, winning 14 consecutive games to notch the longest winning streak in program history.

The Spartans traveled to Winter Haven, Florida during spring break to participate in THE Spring Games from March 12-17. Though there were several games in which they faced strong competition, CWRU handily defeated most opponents.

CWRU kicked off the first day triumphantly against Ramapo College. With bases loaded in the third inning, the Spartans took a 4-2 lead after a single, a walk and a double by second-year Isabella Russo. First-year Elizabeth Berry and third-year Stevie Rieger each recorded two hits for CWRU. Russo drove in 2 runs while third-year KaiLi Gross and first-year Anna Gobeyn recorded a double and a run batted in (RBI). Second-year Lexi Miskey pitched for the first four innings in which she allowed 3 runs, 4 hits and 2 walks to go with 8 strikeouts. Second-year Kylie Hosey finished the last three innings, allowing a run on 3 hits and a walk with 3 strikeouts. At the end of the day, CWRU managed to pull off the 6-4 win.

In game two of the first day, the Spartans crushed Ohio Northern University 8-1. CWRU took control early in the second inning after scoring 4 runs. Fourth-year Amanda Riely finished the game 3-for-3 with two doubles, a walk and a run. Russo and Gross recorded a pair of hits, while third-year Kela Jagoda and Rieger drove in a pair of runs each. Miskey allowed just one run to go along with 7 strikeouts. Hosey allowed a hit and a walk with 2 strikeouts.

 On the second day, CWRU defeated Salve Regina University 12-7 after dominating the first few innings to take a quick 11-2 lead. Jagoda and Gross led the team to victory with a combined 5 runs scored and 7 runs batted in. Jagoda also recorded 3 RBIs, matching her career-high. Hosey did not allow a hit in the last three innings and struck out 5 batters, lowering her run average to 1.38 at the time.

The game against Babson College proved to be the most challenging thus far, but CWRU pulled off the 3-2 win in eight innings. Fourth-year Carli Tucci scored on a sacrifice fly from first-year Elizabeth Berry for the 1-0 lead. The Beavers took a 2-1 lead in the sixth inning off of two-out hits. In the same innings, Riely tied the score with a one-out home run, the fourth of her career, to bring the game within reach for CWRU. In the final frame with an automatic runner on second, Riely’s sacrifice bunt and Tucci’s fly ball to center field scored the winning run. 

CWRU recorded two shutouts on the third day, powered by pitchers Hosey, Miskey and third-year Jenna Jaklich. Against the State University of New York College at Geneseo, Tucci hit her third home run of the season to put the Spartans on the board. Gross’s single drove two runners in for the 3-0 lead. The Spartans finished the game 5-0, with Hosey lowering her run average to 1.06.

Against Endicott College, CWRU did all their scoring in the first two innings. Miskey handled the rest of the game, allowing just one hit in the third inning for the 3-0 win.

On the penultimate day of THE Spring Games, CWRU defeated Westminster in a tight 4-3 match. The Spartans kicked off scoring with 2 runs in the fourth inning from Tucci and Gobeyn. The Titans managed to reach bases but couldn’t convert in the fifth inning. CWRU took advantage and added two more runs following a home run from Riely to make it 4-0.

Westminster responded with a three-run home run in the sixth inning, but Miskey halted their chances of a comeback in the seventh inning.

The following match against Hood College was less competitive, as the Spartans handily earned the 8-1 victory. Gross finished the game two-for-three with two doubles, a run, a run batted in and a stolen base. Eight of nine Spartan starters recorded a hit, with the team notching 11 in the game. Russo added 2 hits, while Tucci and Gobeyn recorded 2 runs batted in each.

CWRU started off their final day of matches with a dominating 9-0 shutout against Hope College. Gobeyn added 2 runs in the second inning and another 2 in the third inning, putting the Spartans ahead 4-0. First-year outfielder Brianna Landers scored the 5th run following a sacrifice fly by Rieger. In the final inning, the Spartans added 4 runs off of a run-scoring single from Gross, 2 runs on a Hope error and Russo’s double.

In their final game, CWRU defeated the University of Wisconsin Stout 5-1. Hosey shined in the game, retiring nine batters in a row through the first four innings. She earned her sixth win of the season after completing six innings with 7 strikeouts. She didn’t allow any runs, lowering her earned running average (ERA) to 0.91.

Hosey was named the UAA Pitcher of the Week after going 4-0 for the seventh-ranked CWRU with a 0.30 ERA and 25 strikeouts in 23 and one-third innings. Riely was named the UAA Hitter of the Week after hitting .577 with 2 home runs, a .593 on-base percentage and 1.000 slugging percentage in eight wins.

Miskey was also named the Spartan Club Athlete of the Week for March 13 after striking out 15 batters in eight innings on the first day of THE Spring Games.

CWRU will now face conference play, with their first series coming up on the road against Emory University. The Spartans will play four games over three days from March 24-26.