Wed. Jan 26th, 2022

 

The Lady Rams were a perfect 6-0 at home this week as they showed they can win with offense as well as with pitching.

First up for West Chester (26-11, 6-4) this week was a home doubleheader against Chowan (20-20) Monday afternoon. Second baseman Jessica Schuck got things going in the first with an RBI single through the left side, scoring rightfielder Kelly Anderson. That was all the run support Kim Murl (3-1) needed as she pitched a complete game, four-hit shutout in the 3-0 victory. Schuck and first baseman Jillian Murray each went 2-for-3 with an RBI to lead the offense.

In the second game, the Lady Rams held off a sixth inning rally by the Hawks to escape with a 5-4 victory. West Chester answered a Chowan run in the first with three of their own and one more in the second to take a commanding 4-1 lead. In the fifth inning, shortstop Jessica Norris singled in pinch-runner Shauna Byrnes in what turned out to be the deciding run. Chowan was able to push across three runs in the sixth before Kate Skokowski (9-7) came in and shut the door, picking up her first save of the 2013 season. Devon Utterback (14-4) picked up the win in five innings of work. She gave up one run on three hits while striking out three batters. No Ram recorded more than one hit, and Murray had the only extra base hit.

On Tuesday, West Chester welcomed in visiting PSAC foe Millersville (23-11). For four innings, the first game was a complete pitchers duel with neither team able to break through offensively. The Golden Rams finally broke through in the fifth with an RBI single by Schuck, and added three more in the sixth to put the game out of reach. Utterback pitched an absolute gem in the 4-0 victory, only allowing three hits while sending down seven Marauders on strikes. The Rams racked up nine hits, all singles, with leftfielder Megan Kelly leading the way going 2-for-3 with two runs and a run batted in.

The nightcap, like game one, was all about the pitching and Utterback once again put on a show. She went all seven innings, giving up just four hits while walking three and striking out five. Norris singled up the middle in the second, scoring pinch-runner Katie Erb, and Anderson drove in two in the sixth with a single down the rightfield line to push the final score to 3-0. Centerfielder Ali Vavala recorded hits in all three of her at-bats and was responsible for the Lady Rams only extra base hit, a double in the third.

West Chester survived two late inning rallies by Bloomsburg (19-9) to sweep the Huskies Saturday afternoon. In the opener, the Lady Rams used the long ball to survive 4-3, hitting two dingers in the game. In the bottom of the third, Kelly hit a solo shot, her first of the season, which pulled the Rams within one and in the fourth Murray hit a two-run shot, her second, to give the Rams a one run lead. Kelly scored again in the fifth, adding what turned out to be a very important insurance run. Bloomsburg’s solo home run in the seventh pulled them within one but that was all as West Chester pulled out the win. Kelly went 2-for-3 with an RBI, two runs scored, a double and the homer to lead the offense. Utterback picked up yet another victory in a complete game effort. She allowed three runs off eight hits with one walk and three strikeouts.

In the second game of the day, West Chester answered a Huskies run in the first with four runs of their own in the second. Another run in the third cut Bloomsburg deficit to two, but the Lady Rams pushed it back to three in the fifth with an RBI single by Murl. Bloomsburg rallied in the seventh yet again as they pushed two across the plate before Murl came in and shut the door on any hopes of a comeback, picking up her first save of the season and giving West Chester the win 5-4. Leading off, Anderson led the offense going 2-for-3 with two RBIs, a run scored, a double and a stolen base. Skokowski picked up the W in six and two-thirds innings of work allowing four runs off eight hits while walking three and sending down four Huskies on strikes.

The Lady Rams will be looking to continue their winning ways as they host the University of the Sciences (16-12) on Monday in a doubleheader beginning at 3 p.m. Friday, the Rams will be on the road when they travel to first place Shippensburg (24-5) for a doubleheader starting at 2:30 p.m. West Chester will finish up action this week on Saturday with its second doubleheader in as many days, this time taking on No. 10 California University of Pennsylvania (21-1) with the first game starting at 1 p.m. 

Riley Wallace is a fourth-year student majoring in communication studies with a journalism minor. He can be reached at RW718681@wcupa.edu.

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