As far as weekly recap goes, it doesn’t get much better than the past week for West Chester. The Golden Rams went 7-1 on the week, including three straight doubleheader sweeps before splitting the doubleheader against Bloomsburg University on Saturday.
After an inconsistent start to the beginning of the season for the Golden Rams, Coach Diane Lokey has high expectations for the rest of the season. “Our team wants to make the playoffs. They need to use the 20 games we played as building blocks for the next 20. We have to play with confidence and with that attitude that we are the team to beat. Right now, we are just playing satisfied and if we continue to do that this conference will eat us alive. We have set some lofty goals and I want nothing more for them [than] to meet their goals,” Lokey said.
West Chester sophomore pitcher Katie Erb was chosen as the PSAC East Pitcher of the Week for the week ending on Monday, March 31. Erb appeared in four games for the Rams, earning two victories and a save while only allowing two earned runs on 11 hits.
West Chester (13-10, 2-2) began the week on March 31 with a doubleheader at home against Mansfield University(9-3, 1-1). The Golden Rams fell behind early down 2-0 after the first inning. After the shaky first inning, WCU pitcher Kim Murl held Mansfield scoreless for the remainder of the game.
It didn’t take long for the Rams to mount the comeback, scoring two runs in the second inning off of a two RBI double by Kim Begley, tying the game up at 2-2. J.P Norris gave the Lady Rams a 3-2 lead the following inning with a solo homerun, whichwas all WCU needed to secure the victory. Erb picked up the save in the 3-2 West Chester win.
In the second game of the doubleheader, Mansfield got one run early in the first inning against Erb on the mound, but that would be the lone run she would allow for the game.
The Rams answered right back in the first with a run of their own off an RBI single by Murl, and they didn’t look back from there. The Golden Rams went on to score nine unanswered runs behind two RBIs by Erin Quense, and Megan Kelly, Jessica Schuck, and Ali Vavala each added an RBI of their own in the 9-1 victory for West Chester to complete the sweep in the doubleheader over Mansfield.
The Golden Rams took on the 17th-ranked Shippensburg University(17-3, 3-1) for a doubleheader on April 1. Micaela McSpadden, who came into the game with a record of 6-0 on the year, pitched a stellar game against WCU’s rival in a huge win for the Lady Rams. McSpadden held the Shippensburg offense to just two runs on five hits. Norris has been the most consistent player for the Rams this season, and she brought her A game against Shippensburg.
Norris started the offense for the Golden Rams with a solo home-run blast to left field to give West Chester a 1-0 in the third inning. Shippensburg answered back by rattling off two runs, one in both the fourth and fifth inning to give them a 2-1 going into the bottom of the fifth. Schuck sparked the comeback for the Rams with a solo home-run of her own to tie it up at 2-2. Norris continued her offensive success with an RBI single in the sixth to give the Golden Rams the 3-2 lead. Erb came in for the Rams and closed it out in the seventh to pick up the save in the 3-2 victory in the first game.
In the second game of the doubleheader, Erb pitched a four-hit shutout in a dominate 6-0 victory for West Chester. Quense led the offense for the Rams with three RBIs, including a two-run home-run in a four run sixth inning. Murl picked up the save for the Rams in the 6-0 victory to complete the sweep of 17th-ranked Shippensburg.
West Chester played its third doubleheader in as many days against Millersville University(14-11, 4-2) on April 2. Murl pitched a stellar complete game three-hit shutout in a 4-0 victory for the Golden Rams. Jillian Murray blasted a two-run home run in the second inning to give the Rams a 2-0 lead and Charlotte Conaway added a solo home run of her own in the sixth to give WCU a 4-0 lead. Murl moved to 5-2 on the year with the victory in the first half of the doubleheader.
In the second game of the doubleheader, the Golden Rams kept “Sweeps Week” going with a 7-2 victory to complete their third straight double header sweep of the week. Kelly started the game off by blasting a solo home run and the Rams cruised from there.
Laura Altenburger contributed three RBIs, including a two-run homerun in the second inning and Murray, Norris, and Erin Whitman each added an RBI of their own to help West Chester get out to a 7-0 before Millersville eventually scored two runs, one in each the sixth and seventh innings. Murl improved to 6-6 on the year in the 7-2 victory. With six straight wins, West Chester improved to 19-10 on the year, with a record of 8-2 in PSAC play.
The red-hot Golden Rams finished out the week with a doubleheader at home on Saturday April 5 against Bloomsburg University(10-7, 2-2). West Chester got out to an early 1-0 lead in the first off of a Schuck RBI double. That run would be the lone run in the game for West Chester as Bloomsburg scored four unanswered runs in a 4-1 loss for the Golden Rams. Murl suffered the loss for West Chester, allowing three runs on seven hits in three inning of pitching ending the winning streak for the Golden Rams.
West Chester had the opportunity to bounce right back in the second game of the doubleheader, and they did just that. The Golden Rams got out to a 1-0 lead in the fifth thanks to an RBI single by Kelly. Bloomsburg took a 2-1 lead in the fifth with a pair of RBI singles. Down 2-1 in the bottom of the seventh, Conaway knotted the game up at 2 with a pinch hit RBI single.
Continuing her impressive season, Norris ended the game with a walk-off single to give West Chester the 3-2 victory. McSpadden started in the circle for the Golden Rams, but it was Erb who came in in relief who picked up the win. After splitting the doubleheader against Bloomsburg, West Chester now has a record of 20-11 on the year, including 9-3 in PSAC play.
Coming off a superb week where they went 7-1, including three sweeps, West Chester has four doubleheaders in the upcoming week. West Chester starts off the week by traveling to East Stroudsburg on Sunday April 6. On April 9, West Chester is back at home for a non PSAC doubleheader against Bowie State University.
The Golden Rams then travel to Lock Haven University on April 11 before closing out the week at home on Saturday April 12 against Kutztown University.
Dylan Harrison is a second-year student majoring in communications with a minor in journalism. He can be reached at DH785892@wcupa.edu