GLENVILLE, W.Va. – The West Virginia Wesleyan softball team picked up two key victories early in the season on Sunday afternoon against Slippery Rock 7-5 and Clarion 8-7 (11 innings) in the MEC/PSAC Challenge at Glenville State. The Lady Bobcats picked up 18 hits and put 15 runs across the plate on the day.
The Lady Bobcats had the bats alive in the first inning, loading the bases with nobody out. Wesleyan would only plate one on a sacrifice fly from Morgan Norris. WVWC scored two runs with two outs on RBIs from Jenna Christopher and Grace Smith in the second inning. They loaded the bases once again and Kaitlyn Rizor sent it flying to the warning track but it was tracked down to end the inning.
Slippery Rock put two on the board in the bottom of the third off of a no doubt two-run home run by Cami Fisk. Abigail O’Shields got out of the jam on an impressive catch out in right field by Taylor Swartz. Smith and Swartz drove home another pair of runs on singles to make it 5-2 going into the bottom of the fourth.
The Lady Bobcats got two easy outs to start Slippery Rock’s half of the inning but a single and a walk put two runners on for Alexsa Hurd. Hurd then took a 0-1 pitch to left center for a three-run home run, tying it at 5-5. O’Shields got the next batter to ground out to end the inning.
In the sixth inning, Alli Robinson got on with a walk, which proved to be key as Morgan Norris hit a two-run home run to put the Lady Bobcats up 7-5. Hannah Hudson shut the door on Slippery Rock to wrap up Wesleyan’s first win of the season.
Chloe Sharman went four innings for Slippery Rock and gave up seven hits and five earned runs. Claire Zimmerman came in relief and pitched three innings but the only hit she gave up was the two-run shot to Norris which handed her the loss.
O’Shields also pitched four innings, giving up six hits and four earned runs. Hannah Hudson finished the game and picked up the win over three innings of relief with five strikeouts and only one hit.
Both teams were a stalemate through three innings until Clarion’s Rachel Helsley broke the 0-0 tie with a solo home run over the right-center field gap wall in the top of the fourth. The Lady Bobcats had two balls travel to the warning track in the bottom of the fourth but would be caught to end the inning.
In the fifth inning, Jenna Christopher put WVWC up with a liner in the left-center field gap that plated Bella Posey and Swartz to take a 2-1 lead after five. Kaitlyn Rizor gave the pitching staff some insurance with a two-run HR in the bottom of the 6th.
WVWC took a 4-1 lead into the top of the seventh and the Golden Eagles scored three runs with two outs to tie it at 4-4 on back-to-back doubles. Wesleyan put a runner on in the bottom of the inning but failed to bring her home, sending the game into extra innings. Clarion scored one in the top of the 8th but had the bases loaded with no one out and couldn’t plate another run.
The Lady Bobcats scored a run in the bottom of the eighth off of a Morgan Norris double over the left fielders head. Clarion scored a run in the top of ninth and Wesleyan countered with one of their own on a tight play at the plate. Both squads once again scored one run apiece in the 10th inning to send it to the 11th. The Golden Eagles were held scoreless in the top of the 11th inning and the Lady Bobcats took advantage in the bottom of the inning when Swartz ripped it up the middle to get Norris home to walk it off.
Both Clarion pitchers went 5 1/3 innings, giving up 10 hits in total. Angelina Pepe took the loss after coming in relief for Kendyl Switzer.
The Lady Bobcats started Kendall Stoffel who then was relieved by Hudson and O’Shields. Stoffel returned back into the game and finished with a line of 9 1/3 innings pitched, three hits, one earned run, one walk and 10 strikeouts. She picked up her first win of the season.
Up Next For The Lady Bobcats
Wesleyan heads to Florida next Saturday (Mar. 4th) to begin the Spring Games, where they will play 14 games in seven days.