BUCKHANNON, W.Va.– Hannah Hudson had a dynamite performance in the circle on Friday as she no-hit the Wheeling Cardinals (9-24, 2-16 MEC) at Culpepper Field. Hudson’s game one performance helped the West Virginia Wesleyan (24-11-1, 14-4 MEC) softball team take a crucial doubleheader sweep over the Cardinals.
The Lady ‘Cats cracked the deadlocked score in the bottom of the second after Kiley Turner hit a hard liner to center to score Destiny Alvarado on a sacrifice fly. WVWC extended their lead to two in the next inning when Taylor Swartz singled through the infield to bring home Morgan Norris from second. The Orange and Black would tally a run in each of their at-bats after the first inning. A Grace Hightower two-RBI double to left-center gave the Lady ‘Cats a 5-0 advantage after five innings. WVWC added one final run in the sixth when Swartz came around to score after the Wheeling outfielder misplayed a Grace Payne flyball to make it 6-0.
Hudson (12-3) would not need much support as she stifled the Cardinal bats all afternoon. The senior needed 98 pitches to finish her complete game while punching out four batters. The Lady Bobcat defense preserved the Hudson no-hit bid on separate occasions flashing the leather in the field to erase possible Cardinal baserunners.
The Lady Bobcats carried their momentum over from game one as they jumped on the Cardinals for three first-inning runs. Morgan Norris doubled to left to score Hightower from second. The next batter, Alli Robinson, again doubled to left to plate Norris and make it 2-0. Two batters later, Payne singled to center to plate Robinson and give the Lady ‘Cats the 3-0 lead. Wesleyan would add a fourth run in the bottom of the second on a Molly Osborne RBI groundout to score Lauren Niglio.
Wheeling cut the lead in half over the next four innings to make it 4-2, heading into the bottom of the sixth. WVWC got those runs right back as the Cardinal pitcher threw away a comebacker with the bases full, and the next batter, Swartz, delivered a sacrifice fly to center to score Osborne.
Abigail O’Shields (8-5) earned the win in game two, throwing a complete game, and needed just 74 pitches to finish the job. O’Shields scattered three runs on six hits and struck out two to get her eighth win of the season.
The Lady ‘Cats are back in action as they take on the Hilltoppers from West Liberty in a doubleheader on Saturday.