By Ronald Hanaki
SC Staff Writer
The ESU Warriors women’s softball team got swept in a doubleheader at home against the PSAC East-leading West Chester Rams on Sunday afternoon.
Originally, the doubleheader was to be played on Friday, but it was rescheduled to Sunday because of the rain.
The start of the first game looked promising for ESU. In the bottom of the second inning, ESU junior infielder Cara McNeil got on base with a single. McNeil advanced to second on a sacrifice by sophomore Sierra Wagner.
ESU junior Cara Woods then singled, and the Warriors were in business with two women on base. Warrior sophomore Haley Thomas’s RBI single allowed ESU to draw first blood at 1-0.
West Chester was quick to respond with two runs in the top of the third inning to take the lead at 2-1.
West Chester blew the game open by scoring five runs on six hits in the top of the fifth inning to lead the game 7-1.
ESU tried to counter when sophomore Haley Thomas opened the bottom of the fifth inning with a lead-off double. Both freshman Rae Holden and senior Kaitlin Blum struck out looking, but junior outfielder Kasey Meckes’s RBI triple scored Thomas. ESU junior infielder Jamie Smith followed with an RBI single that scored Meckes. ESU trimmed West Chester’s lead to 7-3.
West Chester struck right back with three runs of their own in the top of the sixth inning.
A walk of West Chester senior outfielder Megan Kelly led to a 2-run home run by senior infielder Jessica Schuck.
Two doubles by senior outfielder Kelly Anderson and sophomore infielder Laura Altenburger led to another run scoring to make the final score 10-3.
West Chester senior Kim Murl pitched a complete game for the win, and ESU sophomore pitcher Allison Mende took the loss. Mende is now 2-1 on the season.
The second game of the doubleheader saw the Rams stampede to an early 3-0 lead. Back-to-back doubles by Rams’ Megan Kelly and Jessica Schuck led to West Chester’s first run.
West Chester’s Kim Murl then hit a two-run home run to give the Rams a lead that it would never relinquish.
Both West Chester and ESU’s hitters went down in order in the second inning.
The two teams traded runs in the third inning. ESU senior pitcher Lauren Suits issued a one-out walk to West Chester senior Megan Kelly.
Kelly then stole second to get into scoring position.
Ram senior Kim Murl’s RBI single scored Kelly to make it 4-0 West Chester.
ESU would get its only run in the bottom of the third inning when junior Kasey Meckes reached first base on an error.
ESU junior infielder Jamie Smith’s RBI double allowed Meckes to score an unearned run to make it 4-1 West Chester.
The Rams answered with four runs in the fourth inning.
With the bases loaded in the top of the fourth, West Chester’s Megan Kelly hit a grand slam off ESU pitcher Lauren Suits to make it 8-1 Rams.
ESU sophomore Amanda Carlin replaced Lauren Suits as the pitcher to open the top of the fifth inning. West Chester junior catcher Erin Quense promptly scratched a single off Carlin.
West Chester junior outfilelder Ali Vavala came in to pinch-run for Quense and stole second. Then West Chester sophomore Laura Altenburger’s RBI single scored Vavala.
The Rams had a 9-1 lead going into the bottom of the fifth inning.
With an eight-run lead, the mercy rule would come into play if the Warriors didn’t push across at least one run in the bottom of the fifth inning.
ESU’s hitters went down in order as sophomore Haley Thomas grounded out to the shortstop, and freshman Rae Holden flied out to center field.
ESU senior first baseman Amanda McKay then swung at the first pitch and ground out to second base to end any hope for a come-from-behind ESU rally.
Because of the mercy rule, the game was called after five innings.
Officially, the Rams beat the Warriors 9-1 in the second game of the doubleheader.
West Chester freshman pitcher Micaela McSpadden got the win, and ESU senior Lauren Suits took the loss. Suits is now 6-6 for the season.
The Warriors are now 9-16 overall and 4-6 in PSAC conference play.
ESU’s softball team returns to Zimbar Field on Tuesday afternoon for a doubleheader against Mansfield.
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