On Thursday, April 7th, the John Carroll University women’s softball team took on the visiting Case Western Reserve University Spartans in a doubleheader at Bracken Field in University Heights, Ohio.
Despite having home-field advantage, the Blue Streaks struggled on the day and lost both games to the visiting Spartans by narrow scores of 6-5 in the first game and 13-12 in the second game, which stretched to eight innings in length.
The Blue Streaks trailed by a score of 4-2 early in game one, but sophomore catcher Mackenzie Griffin topped off a rally as she belted a two-run homerun in the bottom of the sixth inning to give the Blue Streaks a 5-4 lead going into the seventh.
In the top of the seventh, the visiting Spartans responded with a rally of their own as a two-run homerun by CWRU gave the Spartans the 6-5 win in game one of the doubleheader.
In game two of the doubleheader, JCU trailed throughout most of the game as they were down by a score of 6-2 going into the bottom of fifth inning. In the bottom of the fifth inning, the Blue Streaks’ bats finally woke up as JCU scored seven runs to give the Blue Streaks a 9-7 lead going into the sixth inning.
As they did in the first game, the Spartans again responded with a comeback of their own as they scored two runs in both the top of the sixth and the top of the seventh innings to give CWRU a 10-9 lead going into the bottom of the seventh inning. In the bottom of the seventh, freshman Ally Kleinhans hit a two-out RBI single to tie the game at 10 and send it to extra innings. In the top of the eighth inning, the Spartans scored three runs and the Blue Streaks tried to match that total in the bottom of the eighth, but could only score two runs and lost game two by a score of 13-12. The sweep was the first by Case Western Reserve University over John Carroll since 2001.
The Blue Streaks had another doubleheader last Saturday on the road in Berea, Ohio against the Baldwin-Wallace Yellow Jackets. The Blue Streaks dropped the first game of the doubleheader by another close score of 3-1, and with the loss their losing streak was extended to four games.
However, JCU snapped the losing streak with a win in game two of the doubleheader. The Blue Streaks and Yellow Jackets were tied at two heading into the sixth inning, but immediately broke the game open as senior Angela Vistocco hit an inside-the-park grand slam, giving JCU a 6-2 lead. Freshman Trisha Pike hit a solo homerun of her own to tack on to the lead, giving JCU a 7-2 advantage. B-W almost rallied back to tie the game in the seventh inning, but JCU withstood the rally and went on to win game two of the doubleheader by a score of 7-6.
“Coming back to win the second game was important for us to stay competitive in the OAC standings,” said Vistocco. “It was also important for us mentally and for our confidence, which is important for us to get back on track and contend for back to back OAC championships.”