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Rough first inning cost Lady ‘Cats in Atlantic Regional opener in 6-3 setback to West Chester

STROUDSBURG, Pa. – The West Virginia Wesleyan softball team put together a late rally but would fall in the first round of the Atlantic Region Pod 1 Tournament to West Chester, 6-3. The Golden Rams scored all six of their runs in the first inning to make the comeback attempt even harder on the Lady Bobcats.

West Chester sat the Lady Bobcats down in order in the top of the 1st as PSAC East Pitcher of the Year Daniella Ciliberto struck two of the three batters out. The Golden Rams came out swinging it hot, scoring six runs on six hits in the bottom of the first A single through the right side plated the first run of the game and consecutive wild pitches allowed WCU to make it 3-0. A one-run triple and a two-run home run completed the scoring for the Golden Ram half of the inning.

Abigail O’Shields was brought into the game during the first inning and forced West Chester into a much quieter second inning, only allowing one hit and getting a strikeout. The Lady Bobcats tallied their first hit of the game in the top of the second as Kaitlyn Rizor singled in the infield. Alyssa Rohr then singled in the infield as well on a dribbler down the first base line, putting runners at first and second with one out. Consecutive groundouts ended the scoring threat for Wesleyan.

Taylor Swartz led the top of the sixth with a single to left. Morgan Norris then singled up the middle and Andie Dizon somehow found the hole between the shortstop and third baseman to bring Swartz home. Alli Robinson took a walk, loading the bases with no outs.

After a strikeout, Bella Posey was walked on a 3-2 count to cut it to 6-2. Rizor reached on a fielder’s choice as Posey beat the throw to second and the Lady ‘Cats trimmed the West Chester lead in half. With the bases still loaded, the Golden Rams used a dribbler up the middle to step on second and throw to first to turn the double play and stop the Lady Bobcats from scoring again in the inning.

Norris kept the Lady Bobcats alive in the top of the seventh with two outs on a single to left. Dizon then singled in the infield, putting the tying run at the plate. Alli Robinson put a push into one to left field but it would die in front of the warning track.

Three Golden Rams recorded two hits as Abigail Quinn led the way with two runs knocked in. Meg Wolfe and Katelyn Rittenbaugh both had an RBI as well. Ciliberto started the game and then came back in to close it, picking up the win after throwing a total of 6. 2/3innings and giving up three runs (all earned) on nine hits and striking out four.

Norris and Dizon finished the day with two hits apiece. Dizon, Posey and Rizor all knocked in a run for Wesleyan. Kendall Stoffel was forced out of the game after just 2/3 of an inning, surrendering six runs (all earned) on five hits and one walk, taking the loss. O’Shields pitched the rest of the game in relief, giving up no runs on six hits and striking out three.

Up Next For The Lady Bobcats
Wesleyan will play the No. 8 seed Bowie State in an elimination game Friday at 1:30 p.m. With a win, they would play the loser of East Stroudsburg and West Chester at 4 p.m.

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