Mon. Jan 24th, 2022

The West Chester University Lady Rams (21-13, 3-5 PSAC East) are only a few games away from making it to the PSAC playoffs. This week the Rams had a hectic schedule consisting of back-to-back PSAC conference games. They played two games versus Millersville on March 30, coming out on top with a score of 14-1 in the first game and 7-1 in the second. On March 31, the Rams got swept in a doubleheader to Kutztown at home. West Chester also played Shippensburg on April 2, but they weren’t so lucky. They fell in both games of the doubleheader 1-0 in the first game and 3-2 in the second. On Saturday, West Chester hosted Lock Haven and lost both games by scores of 2-0 and 6-2.

Head Coach Diane Lokey said that during busy weeks their biggest challenge is “staying focused and playing with a lot of energy. We need to take each day and each game one day at a time and not look ahead. Kutztown and Shippensburg were picked to finish ahead of us in the pre-season pool. Lock Haven is a conference cross-over game and they are nationally ranked.”

Against Millersville, the Rams scored their most runs in a game this season during the first game, scoring 14. Sophomore catcher Kate Kmiencinski hit two home runs in the first game and finished the doubleheader 4-for-8 from the plate with six RBI’s. Sophomore outfielder Erin MacNamee also hit a home-run against Millersville.

“With Erin, she has grown to be such an amazing player this past year,” senior pitcher Shannon Padula said. “Last year she had an incredible freshman season but I feel she has matured so much and has really shown her true talent this year. She is leading off and getting on base giving confidence to the rest of the team which is huge. She’s been playing heads up and she’s scoring runs which help me out tremendously as a pitcher.”

Junior infielder Samantha Ingersoll finished the doubleheader going 3-for-8 with six RBI’s. Also, Padula pitched both games on Monday also setting a school record for career wins. During game one, Padula struck out three and allowed one run and four hits. In the nightcap, she struck out three Lady Marauders while allowing Millersville to get seven hits and one walk.

The Lady Rams fought for a win against Kutztown last Tuesday, but fell to the conference leading Lady Bears in both games. However, the girls still gave the Bears a run for their money. Senior infielder Megan Harbaugh hit a single to right-center which scored MacNamee. This gave the Rams their lone run during the first game. Padula gave up 11 hits on Tuesday, but struck out four KU players.

On Thursday, West Chester faced Shippensburg at Robb Field, the home of the Lady Red Raiders. Both teams were tied for second place in the Eastern Division with an identical 3-3 record, so the two games were big for the Rams. Ingersoll singled and Harbaugh doubled one after the other while senior infielder Megan Halberstadt’s single brought in both of the runners.

Ingersoll finished the night game going 2-for-4 from the plate, while senior infielder Kristen McCoy went 2-for-3. Also, junior outfielders Stef Kerbacher and Evelyn Anderson and Harbaugh put up the only three hits in the first game. Padula pitched during game one and managed to strike out three Raiders, allowing four hits and walking three. Freshman pitcher Samantha Soprano pitched for only one inning, striking out one Lady Raider and walking three. Shippensburg swept a PSAC East doubleheader from West Chester.

On Saturday, West Chester fell to the No.6 Lady Eagles from Lock Haven 2-0 in game one and 6-2 in game two. The Lady Rams losing streak reached six games following the doubleheader loss. Lock Haven won their 19th consecutive game on the afternoon.

In game two of the doubleheader, West Chester jumped out to an early 2-0 lead before Lock Haven scored the final six runs of the game to run away from the Lady Rams.

Kristin Erb, the All-American pitcher for Lock Haven, picked up her 26th victory of the season. She also increased her NCAA Division II record for wins to 144.

Ingersoll got West Chester on the board early with a two-run single in the third inning. But in the next inning, Brittany Muthard hit a three-run bomb to left-center to give the Lady Eagles the lead for good. Erb struck out 21 Lady Rams combined in both games. Soprano gave up six runs and 10 hits, while walking eight and striking out three in the loss.

The Lady Rams have three conference opponents remaining (at East Stroudsburg, vs. Millersville and at Kutztown) before the PSAC Playoffs begin. The last chance to catch West Chester at home is on April 17 at 2:30 p.m. against Millersville. The Lady Rams are continuing to put forth the hard work, determination and unity to win their remaining games to pursue their goal of making the playoffs.

**The softball games played on Sunday, April 5 against Shippensburg did not finish in time for this issue of The Quad.

Jillian Morgan is a second-year student majoring in communication studies. She can be reached at JM652349@wcupa.edu.

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