The West Chester University Lady Rams softball team continued their hot start to the season. Not garnering much attention at the start of the year, the Lady Rams have turned in a 14-game winning streak with impressive victories over the past couple weeks. This past week, the girls took care of business in two different ways. First, they grinded out two victories against PSAC West division opponent Indiana University of Pennsylvania (IUP) at home on March 26.
The first game of the double header, a 3-0 victory for West Chester, as pitcher Ashley Saussaman threw a three-hit shutout, her first of the year, to improve her record to 2-0 on the season. Facing just four batters over the minimum, Saussaman struck out six while walking only one.
The Lady Rams offense scored all their runs in the third inning. Second baseman Jackie DiPaola knocked in two of the three West Chester runs with a single to left field. She later scored on a fielding error.
In the second game, West Chester completed the sweep with a 5-4 victory. Shannon Padula pitched a complete game giving up five hits, four walks and striking out three. Padula (13-3) gave up four runs, only one of which was earned.
In a much higher scoring game, the Lady Rams came out on top thanks to first baseman Megan Harbaugh, who smashed a three run homerun as part of her perfect 3-for-3 game at the plate.
Jenny Shaffer (2-5) suffered the loss for IUP. Shaffer and Holloway swapped in and out of the game on the mound, as they were unable to hold down the Lady Rams.
Wednesday March 26 was a much different tune the Lady Rams sung. Following to battles against IUP, Goldey-Beacom came to West Chester and got pounded twice, both 5-inning affairs.
In the first game, the purple and gold wasted no time, attacking for eight runs in the bottom half of the first inning. The 20-hit assault was administered from top to bottom as leadoff hitter and designated hitter/left-fielder Erin MacNamee led the team with four hits and shortstop Kristin McCoy anchored the bottom of the lineup with three hits.
Centerfield Tara Colantuono, second basemen Kelsey Rapp, and McCoy each led the team with three RBI apiece. Twelve of the sixteen Lady Rams who played had a hit and nine players knocked in at least one run.
Padula (14-3) pitched all five innings giving up two runs (one earned) and five hits while registering three strikeouts. She was perfect in the walks category, giving up none. Goldey-Beacom pitcher Kendra Russell pitched all four innings for her team struggling mightily giving up all 20 runs and 16 hits (12 earned) while only amassing one strikeout.
The night cap was more of the same for West Chester as they again throttled the over matched Goldey-Beacom squad, 10-2. Right fielder Stefani Kerbacher led the team with three hits as MacNaMee, DiPaola,and McCoy each chimed in with two hits apiece.
Four Lady Rams accounted for the ten runs knocked in with MacNamee, Colantuono, and McCoy knocking in two runs each and Harbaugh hammering her second homerun in four games, her fourth on the year, to finish with three RBI.
Ashley Saussaman (3-0) pitched all five innings surrendering two runs (both earned) and five hits. However she put up a goose egg in the walk department and struck out three. For Goldey-Beacom, Heather Draper gave up all 10 runs (eight earned) along with 12 hits and four walks, while not being able to record a single strikeout.
West Chester completed their week-long sweep with a 19-6 overall record and a 14 game winning streak to their credit. Their first league tilt comes on Sunday, March 30 at home against Mansfield at 1 p.m. The game was originally slated to be on Friday, March 28 at Mansfield, but inclement weather changed the plans.
Heading into their conference schedule, the Lady Rams are well ahead of where they were last year at this time. Aiming for their 20th win of the season on Sunday, the team amassed 20 wins over the entire last season.
McCoy, a junior, after going 5-for-5 against Goldey-Beacom feels confident that both her and her teammates are prepared for the conference schedule and can be far more successful this year than last.
“Our hitting has been phenomenal and more consistent from previous years and I see no reason to think we won’t keep it up in the conference games,” McCoy said. “Everyone is hitting right now.”
Mike Heiman is a third-year srtudent majoring in Elementary Education with a minor in literacy. He can be reached at MH606613@wcupa.edu.