West Chester University’s women’s softball split a doubleheader at Shepherd University this past Saturday afternoon, losing the first game 13-10, and winning the second game 13-5.
Coming into the doubleheader, Shepherd University held a record of 2-5 and West Chester was 5-3 including a sweep against Chowan University last weekend. Sara O’Dell was the starting pitcher for the Golden Rams, versus Kirsten Barstad for Shepherd.
Game One started at 3 p.m., and there was a 1-1 tie after the first inning after shortstop Jessica Norris was batted in by a sacrifice fly by Laura Altenburger. West Chester finished the inning with one run and two hits. Shepherd University answered right back with a run of their own in the first inning, when Taylor Schaefer scored off of an RBI single by Jennifer Schofield. Shepherd finished the inning with one run and two hits. In the second inning, the Golden Rams scored four runs, thanks in part to a three-run home run by Jessica Schuck for her first of the season, and an RBI single by Norris. Shepherd went scoreless in the second inning. The Golden Rams increased their lead in the third inning with three runs after an Erin Quense two-run home run for her second of the season, and an RBI double from Megan Kelly. Shepherd answered back with five runs of their own thanks in part to RBI singles by Shanan Plunkett, Shannon Lyons, Alexandra Witt. West Chester and Shepherd both went scoreless in the fourth inning. The Golden Rams went scoreless in the top of the fifth. Shepherd gained the lead with a five-run fifth inning after an RBI single by Lyons and a grand slam off Katie Erb. West Chester went scoreless in the top of the sixth while Shepherd added to its lead with a two-run home run from Lyons off Kim Murl. Quense attempted to spark a comeback in the seventh inning for the Golden Rams with a two run home run for her second of the game but fell short with a final score of 13-10.
West Chester bounced back in the second half of the double header with a dominating 13-5 win. Micaela McSpadden got the start for the Golden Rams versus Lyons for Shepherd. West Chester started the game off with an explosive seven run first inning thanks to an RBI single by Murl, a two RBI single by Quense, two runs scored off an error by Shepherd second basemen Elisa Orlandi, and a two RBI double by Norris. Shepherd went scoreless in the first inning. The Golden Rams continued to dominate in the second inning with four runs after an RBI double by Ali Vavala and a three RBI double by Norris. Shepherd continued to struggle with a scoreless second and third inning.
In the fourth inning, West Chester scored two runs off an RBI double by Kelly Anderson and an RBI ground out by Sarah Walasavage. West Chester went scoreless to start the fifth inning. In the bottom of the fifth, Shepherd’s offense came alive with five runs after an RBI single by Tayler Schaefer and a grand slam by Savannah Snyder, but it was not enough to overcome a dominating effort in a shortened five inning game.
After splitting the double header versus Shepherd University, the Golden Rams now have a record of 6-4 on the year. West Chester looks to build off of this win behind the offense of Quense, coming off of a performance where she was a combined 4-for-7 with a pair of home runs and six RBIs for the upcoming doubleheader at Chestnut Hill on Tuesday. Chestnut Hill is struggling to begin the season with a record of 0-6 due to poor offensive performances in each of their first six games.
Dylan Harrison is a second-year student majoring in communications with a minor in journalism. He can be reached at DH785892@wcupa.edu