Altamonte Springs, Fla., March 13, 2015 – The No. 23-ranked Washington University in St. Louis softball team took over sole possession of first place in the University Athletic Association (UAA) standings with a pair of wins over Case Western Reserve University (5-2) and No. 19-ranked University of Rochester Friday at the 2015 UAA Championship held at the Seminole County Softball Complex in Altamonte Springs, Fla.
#23 Washington U. 5, Case Western Reserve 2
The Bears scored first against Case with a pair of runs in the top of the first. Senior Paige Biles led of the game with a double, and then sophomore Kenzie James walked. After senior Adrienne White reached on a fielder's choice, White stole second to allow James to get into a rundown between third and home. James scored after 3B Grace Tritchler dropped the ball during the exchange.
Washington U. pushed the advantage to 2-0 after an RBI single up the middle by sophomore Janet Taylor. The Bears scored two runs on three hits and took advantage of an error in the inning.
Case (9-2, 4-2 UAA) scored a run in the bottom of the second to trim the lead to 2-1, but a solo HR from White to left field in the third got the run back for WashU and made it 3-1. The HR for White was her fifth round tripper of the year and 11th of her career.
The Spartans cut the lead in half (3-2) after an RBI single by Grace Tritchler in the third. Senior Annie Pitkin allowed two runs on six hits through the first three innings of play. Washington U. got the runs back in the fifth after Biles and James reached base with a bunt single, and then came around to score after sophomore Hannah Mehrle single to right center.
Pitkin (9-1) settled down to allow just three hits in the last four innings to toss her fourth complete game at the UAA Championship. She allowed nine hits and two runs (one earned) with five strikeouts. Biles was 2-for-3 with a run scored as Washington U. had eight hits in the victory.
#23 Washington U. 7, #19 Rochester 3
For the sixth time in seven games at the UAA Championship, Washington U. got on the scoreboard first. Biles reached on a throwing error to start the game, and then moved to second on a sacrifice bunt. White then drove the first pitch from Rochester starter Brittany Wechsler off the centerfield wall to drive in Biles for the first run of the game.
The Bears pushed across three more runs in the second inning to push the advantage to 4-0, highlighted by White's two-run double to left center. Rochester answered right back with two runs in the bottom of the second after a two-run single by Kayla Kibling off WashU freshman starter Maggie Clapp. She lasted just 1 2/3 innings pitched, allowing four hits and two earned runs before giving way to fellow classmate Mackenzie Gauden.
Gauden got in trouble in the fourth after a leadoff walk and a single by Sarah Wayson. She escaped the jam with back-to-back strikeouts, and then got Rochester leading hitter Kayla Kibling (.536) with a pop-up to end the inning. The Yellowjackets added a run in the bottom of the fifth off Gauden to cut the advantage to 4-3 after an RBI single by Lauren Muni.
Washington U. added three insurance runs in the top of the seventh on four base hits. White doubled to left center to drive in the first run of the inning, and then Mehrle and Taylor added RBIs as Washington U. jumped in front 7-3. White finished the day 3-for-4 and tied a season-high with four RBIs is hitting .464 with seven doubles, two home runs and 12 RBIs at the UAA Championship.
Pitkin took the ball with one out in the fifth and was lights out the rest of the way. She pitched 2 2/3 innings, allowing one hit with three strikeouts, to pick up her second save of the season. Gauden (3-0) picked up the win allowing two hits and one earned run in 2 2/3 innings pitched.
Washington U. (14-3, 6-1 UAA) continues play in the 2015 UAA Championship Saturday, March 14, against No. 8-ranked Emory University at 10 a.m. (ET) and New York University at 1 p.m. (ET). The Beas are one game ahead of second-place Emory in the UAA standings, and could clinch a tie of the UAA title with a win against Emory.
BEAR NOTEBOOK: White extended her season-long hitting streak to 13 games, while Mehrle has hit safely in nine straight … Biles is tied for the tournament lead in batting average (.500), while White leads the tourney in hits (13) and doubles (seven) … The Bears lead the UAA Championship in earned run average (1.14) … White moved into a tie for eighth place in school history in RBIs (108) and 10th in doubles (33) and hits (170).