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CWRU Softball Splits to Earn Share of First UAA Championship Since 1999

CWRU Softball Splits to Earn Share of First UAA Championship Since 1999

From Case Western Reserve University Athletics

Via a split in two games on Saturday, the Case Western Reserve University softball team earned a share of the 2014 University Athletic Association Championship. The title is the program's fourth overall and first since 1999.  

The Spartans (10-6, 5-3 UAA) defeated the University of Rochester (N.Y.), 4-1, during the morning session. That coupled with an Emory University (Ga.) loss to Brandeis University (Mass.) guaranteed CWRU at least a share of the championship. 

In the afternoon, No. 9 nationally ranked Emory then bounced back to defeat the Spartans, 5-4 on a walk-off single in extra innings. No. 17 Washington University in St. Louis (12-3, 5-3 UAA) also won its final game to create to a three-way split of the UAA Championship. 

The program's previous three UAA Championships came in 1997, 1998 and 1999. The team hadn't finished better than second since 2002.

Versus Rochester (5-6, 2-5 UAA), freshman Annie Wennerberg (Avon Lake, Ohio/Avon Lake) improved to 6-0 on the mound with her third complete game of the season. In seven innings, the rookie hurler allowed one earned run on seven hits.  

In support of Wennerberg, the Spartans built a 3-1 advantage after three innings as junior first baseman Rebecca Taylor (Greensburg, Pa./Greater Latrobe), sophomore centerfielder Rachel Komar (Chesterland, Ohio/West Geauga) and junior outfielder Ashley Parello (Venetia, Pa./Peters Township) each provided RBI singles. Then in the bottom of the sixth, the freshman pitcher aided her own cause with her first collegiate homer - a solo shot to left.  

For the game, senior shortstop Makenzie Lein (Petersburg, Mich./Ida) was 2-for-2 with a walk and a run, while Wennerberg and junior designated player Gena Roberts (Miami, Fla./Palmer-Trinity) each finished 2-for-3. 

Brittany Grage (2-4) took the loss for Rochester in three innings pitched. Offensively, Taylor Fravel went 2-for-3 with a run.  

Against Emory (25-3, 5-3 UAA), the Spartans got on the board in the top of the first when Parello singled home senior catcher Amy Taylor (Brier, Wash./Inglemoor), who reached via a double. The Eagles then knotted the score in the bottom half thanks to a solo homer by Tara Fallahee and grabbed a 3-1 edge with a Moira Sullivan homer followed by a Lauren Gorodetsky RBI double in the second. 

After another Emory run in the third, two scoreless frames followed before the Spartans rallied to tie the score at 4-4 in the sixth. Parello drove in one with another single, and Roberts concluded the rally with a clutch two-out, two-run single. 

Both sides went scoreless in their next at-bats, but Emory looked to be headed for a walk-off win with two on in the seventh. On in relief, Rebecca Taylor was able to induce a foul out and a line out to strand two runners in scoring position. 

However, Emory's eighth inning began with a hit by pitch and a double. One batter later, Ally Kersthold stepped to the plate and hit the game-winning single. 

Rebecca Taylor (2-5) wound up throwing three innings in relief with just the one earned run allowed. 

At the plate, Roberts was 3-for-5 with two walks and two RBI. Amy Taylor also finished 3-for-5. 

In two separate stints, Amanda Kardys (16-1) pitched 4.2 innings in the win for Emory.