Lady Bobcats win in tourney
WEST CHESTER, Pa. — The seventh-ranked West Virginia Wesleyan Lady Bobcat softball team took another step in reaching the NCAA Division II World Series by beating West Chester (Pennsylvania) in the first game of a best-of-three series in the NCAA Division II Super Regional Tournament Thursday.
The Lady Bobcats had to come from behind by a 2-0 score to do it, but they won a 3-2 decision.
“Any time you are in the Super Regionals and facing a pitcher the caliber of Amanda Houck, it is difficult to make up a two-run difference,” remarked head coach Steve Warner.
An error to lead-off batter Madison Kelly in the top of the first opened the door for two unearned runs for West Chester.
Wesleyan remained down by that 2-0 score until the top of the fifth inning.
Jessica Rodriguez started the fifth with a single through the left side and Morgan Bruce reached on a throwing error that allowed Rodriguez to advance to third base.
Olivia Kula came in to pinch run for Rodriguez and Makayla McElwayne came into the game to pinch run for Bruce.
Kula scored on a throwing error by the catcher for Wesleyan’s first run.
That made it a 2-1 game.
Wesleyan took their first lead in the top of the sixth inning. Taylor Barnett started the inning with a single to short, and after a strike out for the first out, Brooklyn Waddell singled up the middle advancing Barnett to second.
Olivia Gore singled up the middle allowing Barnett to score and advance Waddell to second.
Sara Scoone laid down a sacrifice bunt that moved Waddell to third and Gore to second.
Rodriguez followed with a single to left field that scored Waddell to make it a 3-2 game.
Starting Wesleyan pitcher Hannah Vet induced three ground ball outs in the bottom of the seventh to secure the win for the Lady Bobcats.
Wesleyan outhit West Chester by a 7-2 margin.
Rodriguez had the lone multi-hit game with two hits.
Vet improved her record to 26-3 with the victory.
In the complete game, she allowed just two hits and while walking one and striking out five.
“Hannah did a great job today,” said Warner. “I thought she made the necessary adjustments after seeing their line-up the first time through. West Chester’s one-through-five hitters are very good and they have a lot of team speed. I knew we couldn’t get into a slugging match with them.”
The two teams will go back at it Friday at noon. Wesleyan now needs just one victory while West Chester has to beat Wesleyan twice for the Super Regional title.
If an “if” game is needed, it will be played at 2:30 p.m.