Last week, in their division opener for the 2010 season, the West Chester University Golden Rams softball team split with nationally ranked Kutztown University at home, losing game one 6-4 and winning game two 5-4. The win over the No. 24 ranked Golden Bears marked the first win against a nationally ranked team since 2008 for West Chester when they defeated No. 8 Bloomsburg.With the win in game two, the Golden Rams (11-5, 1-1 PSAC East) ended a three-game losing streak and a personal 18-game losing streak against Kutztown, dating back to 2005.
In the bottom of the sixth inning during game two, with her team trailing 4-3, senior second baseman Kelsey Rapp stepped to the plate with runners on second and third and one out. She pushed a hard bunt to the right side of the pitching circle that got past the charging infielders for the Golden Bears. Junior Brooke Muth, who doubled to lead off the inning, and senior Stef Kerbacher, who bunted for a base hit, scored the tying and game-winning runs off Rapp’s hit.
Freshman pitcher Missy Schwartz pitched a complete game to record her first collegiate victory. After giving up four runs in the third inning, Schwartz retired 14 of the final 15 batters she faced. She struck out two batters, walked one and scattered eight hits throughout the afternoon.
Junior catcher Kate Kmiecinski got things started for West Chester in the bottom of the first when she singled to center field, which plated senior Evelyn Anderson and Schwartz, who both singled to start the inning.
In the top of the third inning, Kutztown answered right back and took the lead. Nicole Henninger doubled to left center to clear the bases, which were loaded with Golden Bears. Maria Schiavo doubled, Nicole Colineri singled and Katie Lynch walked before Henninger brought all of them home.
Michelle McGinty singled two batters later to bring Henninger home to give Kutztown the 4-2 lead.
The Golden Rams answered back in the bottom of the third as junior Erin MacNamee doubled home senior Megan Harbaugh to cut the Golden Bears lead to one, 4-3. West Chester won the game in the sixth to finally end their losing streak against Kutztown.
In game one of the doubleheader, the Golden Bears outlasted the Golden Rams 6-4. Muth was given the loss as she pitched a complete game, struck out six, walked two, gave up six runs and 10 hits.
Kutztown scored in the top of the first inning as Colineri scored when Henninger doubled to left center off Muth.
In the bottom of the second, West Chester answered back as Harbaugh homered to left after the Golden Bears dropped a foul ball which allowed Harbaugh to get another chance at the plate.
Kutztown scored two in the top of the third as Colineri scored following a Brianna Knipe single to center field. McGinty flied out to center as Lynch scored on the sacrifice fly.
In the bottom of the third, Rapp reached on a throwing error and scored three batters later when senior Sam Ingersoll singled to center field to cut the Golden Bears lead. An inning later, the Golden Rams took the lead when they scored two runs. Muth walked and stole second to get things started for West Chester. MacNamee singled to center field one batter later. Kerbacher singled to shortstop as Muth scored and MacNamee advanced to third. MacNamee scored one batter later as Rapp placed a sacrifice bunt down to give the Golden Rams the lead.
In the top of the fifth inning, Kutztown regained the lead and never looked back as they finished off West Chester. After getting two quick outs, Muth gave up a double to Maria Isgro, which scored McGinty who had walked one batter previous. Krista Tedjeske hit a two-run homerun to put the visitors on top.
This week, the Golden Rams host division rival Shippensburg University for a doubleheader on Tuesday beginning at 2 p.m. On Wednesday, West Chester travels to University of Sciences for another doubleheaders beginning at 2:30 p.m.
On Friday, the Golden Rams get back to division play as they travel to face East Stroudsburg in a doubleheader beginning at 2:30 p.m. On Saturday, West Chester begins a four-game home stand as they host out of league opponent Bowie State in a double header beginning at 1 p.m.
LJ Harrell is a fourth-year student majoring in Marketing. He can be reached at LH639694@wcupa.edu.