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Softball Preview: Young, small squad and interim head coach hope to come together

Peter Cooke

Issue date: 3/6/09 Section: Sports
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When the Case Western Reserve University softball team returns to the field this season, they will bring with them several new faces, and a new perspective on the game. The lead change in this 2009 season will be the introduction of interim coach Erin O'Neill.

A former player at neighboring Kenyon College, O'Neill will bring youth, vitality, and a fresh outlook on the season.

The Spartans will return three upperclassmen to the team this year, all seniors. Pitcher Ruthe Sagartz will return to the circle this season, bringing with her an ERA of 3.87 from last year. Sagartz threw 14 complete games last season, a stat that she will need to maintain this season due to the shallow Spartan bench.

"This season is going to give a lot of girls a chance to shine. We have three freshmen, four sophomores, and three seniors. Since there are only 10 girls, everyone's going to get a lot of playing time. Every single girl has a strength that she's going to bring with her out there that we really need," said Sagartz.

The other senior Spartan is Angel Rice who, along with sophomore Beth Andrasik, also plays for Case's basketball team. In fact, the team will have had its first full practice just after basketball has ended. Rice will continue her stint in the infield, settling down for a permanent position at second base, with Andrasik covering the opposite side of the bag at shortstop.

The Case outfield trio will feature senior Allison Lansell and sophomores Mary Kruszka and Katie Green. Kruszka is the only returning starter in the outfield from last year, but Lansell and Green have been making strides to adapt to their new positions. One of the Spartans' newest additions is Lauren Wolz, who will look to receive playing time in the outfield.

"Lauren will see significant time in the outfield. We think she can be a big bat in the middle of the lineup and create some RBI production, and maybe even go deep a few times."

Sophomore first baseman Anneliese Fetterman will also be hitting in the middle of the order, in prime position to top her .290 batting average and add to her 21 RBIs from last year. Standing on the opposite side of the infield will be the freshman duo of Kaeleen Boden and Ianaa Wasser, who will split duties at not only third base but behind home plate catching as well.

"Our motto this year: together," said Sagartz. Coach O'Neill has been encouraging, energetic, and all around awesome. She's brought us together and I'm really excited to see what we can do as a team."



Keys to the season

Stay Healthy: With only 10 players on the team's opening-day roster, a single injury or sickness could potentially cripple the team's season.

Learn From Your Mistakes: The team is very young, and there are bound to be mistakes. The team will need to learn from them and work to prevent future mistakes in order to be successful.

Focus: Case has a tough opening stretch this season, with just two games before the UAA Championship in Florida. If Case is going to make an impact, they will need to stay focused and not dwell on any shortcomings in prior games.
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In This Issue

News

  • E.O. Wilson delivers Distinguished Lecture
  • Have you heard about: Student Executive Council?
  • Research at Case: Indian philosophy
  • The Internet and your finances
  • University continues to look for input on SAGES
  • USG � BRIEF
  • USG's Student Life Improvement Grant delayed, but still moving

Sports

  • Baseball: Spartans split No. 10 Wooster
  • Men's Basketball: Spartans get happy ending against Emory
  • MLB Preview: Angels will continue to dominate AL West
  • Softball Preview: Young, small squad and interim head coach hope to come together
  • Spartan Spotlight: Phil Keefe
  • Track & Field: Nwanna mastering all trades
  • Women's basketball struggles in second half, falls to Emory

Fun Page

  • Crossword Answers
  • Jumble Answers
  • Sudoku Answers

Opinion

  • Chimp mauling, octomom clog Congressional operations
  • Editorial: Grant selection process needs refinement
  • Good night's sleep brings health, success

Focus

  • Local artist opens tongue-in-cheek exhibit at AAWR
  • Memoir strays from current popular topics, brings refreshing take to genre
  • Sex and Dating: The benefits of casual sex
  • Spartans of Style: Picking the perfect suit
  • Spring break 2009: a slice of Case students' travel plans
  • The Buzz
  • The Secret Ingredient: Tart and tangy grapefruit
  • The Worst Case Scenario: Enjoying Cleveland in the spring
  • U2 expands Horizon with experimental album
  • Watchmen delivers on hype, lives up to comics
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