VIENNA - No. 4 seed West Virginia Wesleyan, which is the four-time defending tournament champion, was sent into the loser's bracket of the West Virginia Conference Softball Tournament after falling 5-2 in the semifinals to top-seeded Fairmont State.
Although the Bobcats, who play a 10 a.m. elimination game today versus third-seeded Charleston, pounded out a dozen hits versus UC winning pitcher Chelsea Cobb, the gang from Buckhannon couldn't overcome a quartet of costly errors. Three of those came in a three-run Fairmont State fourth against losing Bobcat hurler KC Carey.
Fairmont State took the lead for good against Wesleyan when Holly Frampton fought back from an 0-2 count and crushed a solo homer to deep left on a 3-2 offering from Carey with two gone in the bottom of the first.
Photo courtesy of The Parkersburg News and Sentinel
Shepherd’s Hayle Kitts releases a pitch against West Virginia State in West Virginia Conference tourney action Thursday in Vienna.
Wesleyan should have had a 1-2-3 fourth inning, but an infield error allowed Sissy Stubbs to reach and the flood gates opened wide. Terri Lynn Wolfe followed with a single to left and then No. 9 hitter Brittany Williams had a run-scoring single and it was 3-1 FSU when Wolfe crossed the plate on a throwing error from the outfield. Leadoff hitter Courtney Iacobacci came through with an RBI single to center to make it 4-0. Wesleyan found itself down 5-0 when Frampton walked in the fifth against relief pitcher Jessica Griffin and scored on Amanda Skidmore's two-out RBI base knock.
Carey did have an RBI double in the sixth that plated Paige Cummings and Cummings had an RBI bloop single in the seventh that scored Alex Furr, who joined teammate Jacqui Omichinski in going 3-for-4. Cummings and Bobcat catcher Megan Malenstyn each went 2 for 3 in the loss.
Cobb worked around the 12 hits, didn't walk anyone and fanned six in her 117-pitch complete-game.
Head coach Steve Warner's club picked up a narrow 1-0 victory against No. 5 seed Glenville State in the early morning opener.
Omichinski fired a two-hit shutout, walked just one and recorded five strikeouts against the Pioneers.
Glenville State had its best chance to score in the top of the third when it had runners on second and third with just one out. However, Pioneer Carly Caldon lined out to Cummings at short and Bobcat center fielder Carleigh Hall grabbed the third out on the warning track from a long fly off the bat of GSC's Morgan Scarpellini.
In the bottom of the sixth, the Bobcats scratched across their only run. Alex Furr, who was later erased on a fielder's choice, reached on an infield single and then Hall put down a perfectly placed bunt single. Hall ended up scoring the only run on a GSC infield error and the only other Wesleyan hit came from Bre Taylor.
West Va. St. 5, A-B 3
Charleston 4, A-B 2
West Virginia State overcame a 3-0 deficit en route to a 5-3 win in the opening game of the WVIAC Tournament.
The Battlers plated three runs in their first at bat, thanks in part to Regan Drake's RBI double. Vanessa Bodily blasted a two-run homer for a 3-0 advantage.
Desiree Giffin got the Yellow Jackets on the board with a RBI single in the bottom of the first. Dee Dee Loftis singled home Giffin and Crawford, knotting the contest at three.
WVSU took the lead in the fifth on Mattie Best's sacrifice fly, which turned out to be the game-winner. The Yellow Jackets added a run in the sixth off Griffith's single, plating Loftis.
Anna Eggleston came in and worked 6 1/3 innings for the victory. She scattered four hits while striking out four. Ali Neace took the loss.
A-B was eliminated by Charleston, 4-2, later in the day.
Morgan Aguirre went the distance for the win, giving up just one earned run. Hannah Whitney took the loss.
West Va. State 8
Shepherd 0, 6 innings
Sara Pelegreen tossed a three-hit shutout, helping West Virginia State down Shepherd 8-0 in six innings.
The Yellow Jackets plated seven runs on three hits in the seventh, giving Pelegreen more runs than she needed to pull off the win.
WVSU Alana Weyant homered to center, driving in Mattie Best for a 2-0 lead. With the bases loaded, Sabrina Schouten was hit by a pitch, making it 3-0. Victoria Crawford earned a walk, pushing the margin to 4-0.