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          Spartans get swept

          Peter Cooke

          Issue date: 3/26/10 Section: Sports
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          A pair of tough losses this past Sunday despite early leads in both games left a disappointed Spartan squad reeling as they near the season's midway point.

          The beginning of a 10-game road trip did not go especially well for the Spartans (5-13) in Michigan at Albion College. The Britons (6-6) managed a pair of come-from-behind wins to crawl up to a .500 record.

          "It's never easy losing two games to a team that is not two games better than you," said junior pitcher Beth Andrasik. "We came out strong in both games against Albion, but weren't able to keep the lead in the end."

          The Spartans continued their trend of scoring early, notching two runs in the top of the first inning to grab an early lead. A trio of singles loaded the bases for the Spartans as sophomore Kaeleen Boden stepped up to the plate. Boden then singled to the left side, scoring a run. A base on balls by freshman Cara Sullivan gave the Spartans their second run.

          The Britons answered back in the bottom of the first, as a pair of walks by Andrasik and a wild pitch put Albion on the board.

          The Spartans wouldn't stop pressing, though, as sophomore outfielder Lauren Wolz nailed a two-run homerun. The homer gave the Spartans 4-1 lead and Wolz a share of the team's homerun lead.

          The Spartans added another run in the top of the third, but an ugly bottom of the inning doomed the Spartans, as they gave up five runs and the lead. Despite only getting two hits, the Britons drew six walks, which forced home three runs.

          Andrasik just began starting on the mound last year and the learning curve has been sharp, but she remains optimistic. "Practice and working with our pitching coach has helped the transition onto the mound. It has been a change of pace, but it is exciting too," Andrasik said.

          The Britons kept their 6-5 lead until Andrasik stepped into the batters box in the top of the seventh. Despite her control issues on the mound, facing her counterpart at the plate, Andrasik refused to back down. Blasting a two-out home run to right center, Andrasik singlehandedly kept the Spartans' hopes alive, tying the game at six runs each.

          Ultimately, a leadoff double would doom the Spartans as Albion quickly got into scoring position. A Briton bunt would advance the winning run to third before a walkoff single to the right side clinched the game for Albion.

          In the back half of the doubleheader, the Spartans again grabbed an early lead as Andrasik added to her day's total with a triple, helping CWRU to a three-run third inning.

          Albion, however, scored in each of the remaining innings for a 7-3 win.

          Despite the Spartans' recent problems with errors and unearned runs, CWRU gave up just one error and no unearned runs a stat Andrasik is glad to see improve.

          "We've been working hard at practice to focus on different situations to crack down on defense and it has shown in our improvement from the games in Florida to the games now back home in Ohio," she said.
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          In This Issue

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          • Spartans get swept
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          • Z's return

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          Opinion

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