For the first time in school history, the West Chester University Golden Rams softball team will make an appearance in the PSAC postseason tournament, having won the PSAC Eastern Division title. West Chester finished in a tie for first place with Kutztown University, but won the division title by virtue of sweeping East Stroudsburg, while the Golden Bears split with the Warriors. During the week, the Golden Rams split with Millersville University, swept East Stroudsburg University and fell to Lock Haven University in two games.On Saturday, West Chester (29-13, 12-4 PSAC East) defeated the Millersville University Marauders 10-8 in ten innings during game one, but fell to Millersville in the second half of the doubleheader 9-6. In the tenth inning of game one, senior Sam Ingersoll hit a two-run shot to put the Golden Rams up 10-7 to help West Chester pick up the victory.
Senior Kelsey Rapp was placed on second base at the start of the inning in the international tie-breaker rule. Senior Stef Kerbacher hit a bunt single, advancing Rapp to third where she scored the go-ahead run on a wild pitch. After a ground out, Ingersoll smashed her 13th home run of the year to give the visitors a three-run lead.
Junior Brooke Muth started the game and pitched the first eight innings of the contest. Freshman pitcher Devon Utterback appeared in her first game of the season and pitched 1 1/3 inning to pick up her first career victory. Muth re-entered the game and picked up her fifth save of the year.
The Golden Rams fell in game two 9-6 as Millersville was able to erase a late deficit to defeat West Chester. With the Golden Rams leading 6-3 in the sixth inning, the Marauders scored six runs to earn a split of the doubleheader.
Sarah Signore hit a RBI single to score Deanna Schneiderreit. Casey Coker singled to score both Signore and Lindsay Hosier. Three batters later, Jamie Motsko hit a three-run homerun to help Millersville secure the split.
On April 14, West Chester swept the East Stroudsburg University Warriors 5-1 in game one. In game two, the Golden Rams defeated the Warriors 7-4 in dramatic fashion in eight innings.
Ingersoll broke the school record for home runs in a single season with her 12th of the year during a four-run fifth inning in game one. Her two-run shot over the left-center field fence gave West Chester a 5-0 lead. Ingersoll finished the day 3-for-5 to up her batting average to .529 on the year. She has collected 64 hits on the season – one shy of teammate Erin MacNamee’s single-season school record set two years ago.
Muth picked up her 13th win of the season in game one as she went the distance. She gave up one run on seven hits, striking out three and walking two batters.
In game two, Ingersoll and senior Megan Harbaugh each walked to lead off the bottom of the eighth inning in game two with the score tied at 4-4. Freshman Missy Schwartz then slammed an offering from Warriors’ pitcher Caitlin Monahan over the left field fence for her second home run of the season and first career walk-off shot.
Muth relieved starting pitcher Schwartz and picked up her 14th win of the season as she pitched the final five innings of play giving up three hits and striking out three. Harbaugh went 3-for-4 including hitting her fifth homerun of the season. Senior Evelyn Anderson finished 4-for-5 with one RBI and scoring one run.
This week, West Chester prepares for their first ever PSAC tournament appearance. The tournament begins on Friday.
The PSAC softball postseason tournament is a two-day, double-elimination tournament on Friday and Saturday, April 23-24, Mercyhurst will play Lock Haven at West Chester’s South Campus Complex at 11 a.m. on Friday, April 23. The loser of that contest will play West Chester at 1 p.m. The Golden Rams will then play the winner of game one at 3 p.m.
LJ Harrell is a fourth-year student majoring in Marketing. He can be reached at LH639694@wcupa.edu.