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          Otterbein batters don't let up in doubleheader

          Peter Cooke

          Issue date: 4/9/10 Section: Sports
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          The afternoon before the grand opening of Mather Park did not go as planned for the Spartans - they dropped a doubleheader to Otterbein College. Tuesday's first game was a poor effort, as the Spartans fell behind early and failed to generate any offense. In tame two, a refocused Spartan squad came out determined and nearly matched the Cardinals offensively.

          Game one was started with a letdown. The feeling didn't let up.

          Otterbein grabbed a 2-0 lead in the first and the Cardinals were able to get inside the Spartans' heads early. The Spartans failed to get the offense started; they were unable to garner any hits in the first two innings.

          Like the offense, the Spartan defense failed to ignite, helping the Cardinals to a five-run third inning. The Spartans rebounded, as pitcher Beth Andrasik singled before advancing to second on an wild pitch. Freshman Katie Thomas then hit a triple to right center, putting the Spartans on the board. A pair of strikeouts looking, however, ended the nascent rally.

          CWRU would added another run when freshman Cara Sullivan doubled before being driven in by second baseman Kayla Lang. That was the Spartans' last run of the game. The Cardinals notched a 10-2 win.

          "The spiral effect in softball is crazy, we came out incredibly flat and lackadaisical in the first game and it is definitely something we need to continue to work on," said coach Erin O'Neill.

          One key change to the Spartans' game plan was their stance on the masterful base running of the Cardinals. The Spartans rushed risky throws across the field hoping for put-outs. Unfortunately for the Spartans, many of the throws were off the mark and Otterbein's speedy base runners continued to advance.

          The Spartan women emerged from the dugout during the second game on a mission, determined to drive the ball into the outfield and cut down on poor decisions.

          CWRU and Andrasik gave up just one run in the first, a minor victory for the Spartans. Andrasik and Thomas lead off the home half of the first with a hit and a walk before advancing to second and third on a wild pitch. A two-run double by catcher Ianna Wasser gave the Spartans their first lead of the day and a solid foundation around which to build the rest of the game.
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