Softball Lady ‘Cats wrap up spring break games in Florida

CLERMONT, Fla. – The West Virginia Wesleyan softball team had their eight-game winning streak snapped by Ferris State on Friday in the earlier game 6-1 but bounced back with a 5-1 victory over Illinois-Springfield in the second game of the day. The Lady Bobcats then swept their final two games of the trip on Saturday against Kentucky Wesleyan 5-4 in eight innings and Slippery Rock 14-2 in six innings.

Game 1 vs Ferris State

Both squads went down in order to open the first inning of play. The Bulldogs plated the first runs of the gam in the top of the second on a single down the line and an error by the Lady Bobcats defense to take a 2-0 lead. It was quiet until the bottom of the fourth when Wesleyan loaded the bases with one out on multiple hit-by-pitches and a walk. Bella Posey plated Taylor Swartz on a fielder’s choice to trim the Bulldogs lead to just one.

Ferris State answered with a run of their own in the top of the fifth on a one-run double in the gap, regaining their two-run lead over the Lady Bobcats. Wesleyan was set down in order in the fifth and sixth with FSU building a comfortable lead in the top of the seventh, scoring three runs on consecutive walks and a one-run single. WVWC went out quietly in the bottom of the seventh, snapping their eight-game winning streak.

Josie Prince led the Bulldogs, going 2-3 with two RBIs. Four other Ferris State hitters recorded an RBI as well. Catherine O’Donohue went 5 1/3 innings, giving up one run (earned) on two hits and two walks with four strikeouts. Kristie Gray got the save after relieving O’Donohue, giving up nothing in 1 2/3 innings of work.

Swartz had the only two hits for the Bobcats and Posey had the lone RBI. Abigail O’Shields pitched a complete game, allowing six runs (all earned) off of eight hits and five walks. She also struck out five batters.

Game 2 vs Illinois-Springfield
Wesleyan struck first in the top of the first on a Alli Robinson RBI triple that scored Morgan Norris. In the bottom of the second, UIS tied it up with a two-out RBI single. The Lady Bobcats answered quickly, getting Savannah O’Shields in scoring position after a single and a sacrifice bunt. Alli Robinson doubled to bring O’Shields home with two outs.

The top of the fourth was kind for WVWC, plating two runs on two RBI singles from Amillia Howard and Savannah O’Shields. The Lady Bobcats put together four hits in the inning. The game became a pitchers dual until the seventh inning with neither team brining more than four batters to the plate each inning. In the top of the seventh, Illinois-Springfield’s Taylor Zawacki walked home Maya Reyes to help extend the Lady Bobcat lead to 5-1. The Prairie Stars put up a small fight in the bottom of the seventh but couldn’t muster any offense, securing Wesleyan’s 11th win of the season.

Ramsey Armstrong knocked in the only RBI and Jilian Mathis had two hits for the Prairie Stars. Reagan Miles took the loss on 3 1/3 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 1 BB and 2 K. Taylor Zawacki pitched 3 2/3 innings in relief, giving up three runs (two earned) on one walk and striking out two.

Robinson went 3-4 with 2 RBIs and Savannah O’Shields went 2-4 with an RBI for the Bobcats. Howard also had an RBI. Kendall Stoffel pitched a complete game, giving up one run (earned) on five hits and only one walk. Stoffel struck out six batters as well.

Game 1 vs Kentucky Wesleyan

Abigail O’Shields struck out two of three batters to open the game, setting up the Lady Bobcat offense in the bottom of the first inning to score two runs. Swartz singled and was moved to second on a sacrifice, allowing Norris to plate her on a single up the gut. Norris was then brought home with an RBI double by Andie Dizon. O’Shields was dealing early on, sending the Panthers to the dugout with nothing early on.

Dizon brought Norris home once again on an RBI single up the middle in the bottom of the third. The Kentucky Wesleyan offense came to life in the top of the sixth, scoring four runs on four hits and taking a 4-3 lead. In the bottom of the seventh, the Lady Bobcats were down to their last out of the game until Dizon brought Norris home for the third time with a one-run single.

Stoffel kept the Panthers at bay to keep it a tie for the Wesleyan offense going into the bottom of the eighth. Posey sacrificed the runner over to third for Savannah O’Shields, who bunt squeezed the game-winning run for the Lady Bobcats.

Allie Dunn led the Panthers with two RBIs, joined by Grace Colvin and Augusta Garr’s one RBI apiece. Dunn also pitched 7 1/3 innings, allowing nine hits, five runs (three earned), walking one and striking out for to take the loss.

The Lady Bobcats were led by Dizon’s 4-4 and three RBI performance. Savannah O’Shields and Norris also picked up an RBI. Abigail O’Shields pitched six innings, giving up four runs (two earned) on four hits and one walk. O’Shields struck out nine Panthers as well. Stoffel pitched two innings of relief, striking out run and keeping a clean slate.

Game 2 vs Slippery Rock
Offensive production from the Lady Bobcats started early on in the first inning on a two-run single from Kaitlyn Rizor and Robinson scoring on an error, making it 3-0. Wesleyan plated another five runs in the top of the third, starting off with Robinson driving in Norris with a single after Norris began the inning with a triple. Dizon scored an error by The Rock’s defense and then Turner picked up an RBI with Rizor crossing the plate on an error as well. Emily Ross finished the inning off with a run on another error. In total, there were three errors by Slippery Rock’s defense.

Wesleyan had a chance to shut The Rock out at 8-0 due to the mercy rule after five innings but a dropped fly ball allowed SRU to score two runs with two outs on a double to left. The Lady Bobcats took full advantage of the extra inning of play, scoring six run son three hits in the top of the sixth. Rizor singled to left to bring home Megan McMackin, Shelby Kennedy got home on a wild pitch, Jenna Christopher plated Rizor on a fielder’s choice, Swartz hit a two-run double and Hallie Dinklocker singled to right for an RBI. Hannah Hudson closed the game out in the bottom of the sixth for the Lady Bobcats, finishing the game 14-2 in six innings.

Alexsa Hurd led Slippery Rock, going 2-3 with 2 RBIs. Arielle Brown also went 2-3 at the plate. Claire Zimmerman was handed the loss after four innings of work, surrendering eight runs (five earned) off of five hits and four walks. Mackenzie Borkovich got hit hard, giving up six runs (all earned) on three hits and walking four.

Seven different Bobcats finished with at least one RBI, led by Swartz and Rizor’s three RBIs. Turner had two RBIs as well. Hudson picked up her fifth win of the season, going six innings and giving up two runs (unearned) on four hits and striking out 10.

Up Next For The Lady Bobcats
Wesleyan will begin MEC play next weekend at Fairmont State (DH) on Saturday and Frostburg State (DH) on Sunday.

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