The West Chester softball team took on 11 games over spring break, eight at the NTC Spring Games in Florida in which they went 4-4, and three home games where they went 2-1.
West Chester opened up the tournament with a loss to Cedarville by a score of 6-9. The Lady Rams bounced back to win their next four, defeating New Haven 2-1, American International College 7-5, St. Michael’s 8-0, and Nyack 11-3. The Rams showed some inconsistency, losing their next three games to St. Leo’s by a score of 3-6, Pfeiffer 4-6, and dropping the rematch against New Haven, which is currently ranked No. 7 in the East Region, 6-8.
They stopped the slide at 3 with two wins coming against Limestone 6-2, and once against St. Michael’s 18-0, only this time junior Kate Skokowski pitched a no hitter. She was one out away from a perfect game when she walked St. Michael’s number six hitter in the bottom of the fifth.
The Lady Rams did however leave Florida with a loss to Alderson-Broaddus 2-3 in eight innings. West Chester broke a 1-1 tie in the eighth with a run the top half of the inning, but the Battlers pushed two runs across in the bottom of the eighth to win the game.
Next up for the Lady Rams was a home game against Goldley Beacom on Wednesday afternoon. In game one, it was Goldley Beacom’s sloppy play in committing four errors which helped West Chester cruise to a 5-1 win.
They scored a run in every inning except for the second. Pitcher Devon Utterback pitched seven strong innings while giving up only a single run and three hits while striking out four. Offensively the Rams were led by catcher Nicole Cruts who went 2-for-3 on the day with a double and RBI. Rightfielder Jessica Russ went 1 for 4 with a double and run scored.
The hitting was really spread out as seven different West Chester hitters recorded at least one hit and the margin of victory could have been a lot wider as they left 11 batters on base.
In the night cap of the double header, Goldley Beacom started off the scoring with four runs in the top of the third but the Lady Rams responded quickly and got two runs back in the bottom half of the inning and then took control with a six-run fourth. They added an insurance run in the fifth and went on to take the victory 9-5, effectively sweeping the Lightning. Skokowski struggled for West Chester and was pulled in the third after giving four runs off three hits and three bases on balls. Kim Murl came in to record two outs before being relieved by Utterback (7-4) who went on to finish the final 3+ innings and pick up her second victory of the day.
The hitters did a much better job of capitalizing on base runners as they recorded 13 hits but only left five on base. Cruts again led the way as she went 2 for 4 with two doubles and RBI. This time she had some support as leftfielder Charlotte Conaway also recorded two hits in four at-bats with two doubles and two runs scored to go along with an RBI.
The Rams were scheduled to play a double header against Kutztown on Sunday which was postponed due to expected inclement weather. WCU will travel Lincoln University of Pa. on Wednesday at 3 p.m.
Riley Wallace is a third-year student at West Chester University. He can be reached at RW718681@wcupa.edu.