CLERMONT, Fla. – The West Virginia Wesleyan softball team dropped both games of opening day at The Spring Games Saturday to Bridgeport (8-2) and Findlay (8-2). The Lady Bobcats put together 13 hits between the two games but also had six errors which proved to be vital in the two losses.
Game 1 vs Univ. of Bridgeport
Both teams went down in order to open the game up. The Lady Bobcats were able to get a runner to third off of a walk and a pair of passed balls but couldn’t convert as they popped up to center to end the top half of the inning. Hannah Hudson sat down the Purple Knights lineup in order once again in the bottom half. Wesleyan plated a run in the top of the first when Alli Robinson singled in the right-center gap to score Jenna Christopher. Bridgeport answered mightily, scoring four runs off of four hits to take a 4-1 lead after three innings.
The fourth inning was quiet for both sides, going down 1-2-3 for a quick inning. In the bottom of the fifth, UB hit back-to-back doubles to score another run and then put up a run right before the end of the inning to go up 6-1 heading into the sixth. WVWC loading the bases in top of the sixth with a chance to cut the deficit but left all runners stranded on a groundout.
Bridgeport put two more runs across in the bottom of the sixth off of a fielder’s choice and a sacrifice fly, holding onto a 8-1 lead going into Wesleyan’s final opportunity in the top of the seventh. Grace Smith got Alyssa Souders home but the Lady Bobcat offense ran out of gas.
Madison D’Amato led the Purple Knights at the dish, going 2-3 with two RBIs. Gabby Simms and Hailey Kim had one RBI apiece as well. Vise Zarate went the distance, giving up two runs on six hits and striking out three to get the win.
Christopher and Robinson both went 2-4 at the plate with Robinson getting a RBI. Smith had the other RBI for the Bobcats. Hudson was handed her third loss of the season, going four innings and giving up six runs (five earned) off of six hits and striking out three. Alexia Scarberry pitched two innings in relief, surrendering two runs (one earned) on two hits.
Game 2 vs Findlay
The Oilers opened up the game with a triple to right and a single to go up 1-0 early. Wesleyan went 1-2-3 and the second inning saw little offense. UF put a run up in the top of the third on a double to the left-center gap and Wesleyan went 1-2-3 once again to finish the third. Findlay built a cushion in the fourth, scoring three runs with one of them coming from an error and the other two off of a single.
UF extended their lead in the top of the fifth off of another single up the middle. The Lady Bobcats trimmed the Findlay lead in the bottom half of the inning, scoring back-to-back runs on fielder’s choices by Gracie Hightower and Jenna Christopher. Findlay answered on a 2-run double in the top of the sixth to give the pitching staff some insurance for the final two innings. Wesleyan made it interesting in the bottom of the seventh, loading the bases with one out but couldn’t plate another run, striking out and fouling out to left field to close the game out.
Olivia Carlton led the Oilers with a 3-3 and 2 RBI performance at the plate. Avery Shepherd was also 3-3, including a triple. Emma Jones collected her sixth win of the season with her complete game. She gave up seven hits, two runs (zero earned) and five strikeouts.
Morgan Norris collected two hits today with Gracie Hightower and Christopher collecting RBIs. Abigail O’Shields took the loss after four innings of work, giving up eight hits, six runs (five earned) and getting three strikeouts. Izzy Abalos and McKayla Mandina pitched three innings of relief combined to close the game out.