Softball struggles in opening weekend

The Spartans’ big bats show promise, but the squad was unable to overcome their opponents this weekend as the team dropped three of their first four games.

The Case Western Reserve University softball team combined for 24 runs in their first four games of the season, facing off in a pair of doubleheaders against William Peace University (WPU) and Meredith College in Raleigh, North Carolina. Despite the full-powered offense, the Spartans were only able to capture a victory in their final game of the opening weekend.

CWRU got swept in their season opening doubleheaders against WPU, losing the offensive battle by scores of 12-8 and 11-9. The next day the Spartans split their games against Meredith, losing the first by a narrow 3-2 before finally picking up a 5-1 win. “This past weekend was definitely tough,” said third-year student Annie Wennerberg, “but we are using it to make some changes and work on some of our weaknesses before the University Athletic Association (UAA) tournament in Florida.”

The Spartans started hot with three home runs in the first game. A two run rocket in the first off the bat of second-year student Grace Tritchler started the scoring. First-year student Nicole Doyle added a solo shot in the top of the third to give the Spartans a three run lead. However WPU took away the lead with three runs of their own in the bottom of the third.

The Spartans tacked on another four runs in the fourth inning to reclaim the lead, but it was short-lived as the Pacers scored four of their own, before outscoring the Spartans 5-1 in the final three innings for the 12-8 win.

The Spartans jumped out to a huge lead in the second game of the weekend against WPU, as they broke open the game scoring six runs in the top of the second inning, with two runs driven in by fourth-year student Abbey Filliez. CWRU followed up the six runs with another three in the third for nine runs. However Spartans gave up seven runs in the bottom of the third, tying the game at nine apiece.

From there, the two teams were locked in a defensive battle. Spartans let their lead slip away agian as William Peace finally scored two runs in the bottom of the fifth to win the shortened game in the final half inning. “We did a great job of putting the ball in play, but we need to work on stringing our hits together so we don’t leave runners on base,” said Wennerberg. “Especially when games are close and every run is important.”

After two strong offensive games, the Spartans struggled in the first game against Meredith. They only managed to score a single run in the sixth and one in the seventh, not enough of a late push as they dropped the opener 3-2.

The Spartans’ bats returned in the second game—albeit late in the game—as CWRU led Meredith 2-1 after six innings. Second-year student Katie Wede, who opened the inning with a walk, was thrown out at home trying to add padding to the Spartan lead. However the Spartans would pick up that first insurance run when second-year student Lindsey Robinson stole home, after a getting on base off a single. Tritchler reached base on a fielder’s choice, setting up Wennerberg’s cleared the bases on a two-run homer, securing the victory for the Spartans.

The Spartans return to the East Coast this weekend as they take on Marietta College and Emory & Henry College in two more double headers before heading down south to Florida for the NTC Tournament and the UAA Championship tournament during Spring Break.

“For the UAA tournament, we are working on eliminating defensive errors, producing runs—especially when runners are on base—and for the pitchers, making our movement pitches sharper and working on accuracy,” said Wennerberg, “We’ve been working really hard this off-season so far and are very excited for the tournament.”