After the first four weeks of NFCA DII Softball, a recent coaches poll ranked the Lady Rams 18th. This is after an impressive 21-3 start.
The Golden Rams traveled to Clermont, Fla. during their spring break for 12 exhibition games.
In Florida, the Rams ended their 17-game winning streak in a tough game against the University of Charleston. After coming back from a six run deficit, they finally lost their battle 6-5. The Golden Rams only suffered one other loss to Grand Valley State, 3-0.
The Rams left Florida with an impressive 10-2 record, bringing their overall record to 20-2 going into regular season play.
In their first home games of the season, West Chester hosted the University of the Sciences on Thursday, March 17.
Sophomore Amanda Houck began the first game against the Sciences. She had started the season strong with eight wins and two loses. The game was scoreless until Houck let up a two-run homer in the top of the third which gave the Sciences an early lead.
The Rams would not answer this deficit until the bottom of the sixth inning when freshman Alyssa Herion belted a two-run homer. This is her sixth home run of the season. Junior Sarah Walasavage would continue the rally with an RBI, scoring junior Hayley Bollinger. This would tie the score at three going into the seventh inning.
Houck gave up a one-out hit up the middle to allow the winning run to reach the bases. The runner then scored from second after an error, giving the Sciences a 4-3 lead over West Chester.
The Sciences would then go onto shut down the Lady Rams in the field and come away with a 4-3 victory.
Striking 10 out was not enough for Houck as she allowed five hits, four walks, and three earned runs to cross the plate. Houck received her third loss of the season for this game.
Sophomore Sara Ercolani went 2-for-3 with a double.
After the loss, the Rams refocused and went into the second contest with energy and determination. Sophomore Brooke Harner was in the circle, starting game two against the Sciences.
The Rams struck early in the first inning when Herion scored off of a sacrifice fly by senior Laura Altenburger.
Ercolani would have two runners on when she smashed her first collegiate home run over the left field fence. The Rams would enter the fifth inning with a 4-0 lead.
Harner went into the fifth inning with no hits. This was until the Sciences had a solo home run shot, bringing the score to 4-1. It wasn’t until the sixth inning when the Sciences belted a two-run homer that sophomore Ashley Flesch was called into the game to relieve Harner. With two outs and runners on first and second, Flesch would keep her composure and get out of the jam.
The Rams showed their finesse at the plate when sophomore Lauren Scarpato successfully bunted in a suicide squeeze. On third, sophomore Lexi Trumbetti demonstrated her base running abilities and speed by sprinting home, sliding around the catcher and swiping her hand across the plate before the tag.
Flesch would shut down the Devils, only allowing one hit. Flesch also received her first career save after finishing the game.
Harner picked up her seventh win of the season. Harner allowed three hits and three runs, striking out four and giving up four walks.
The Rams were able to bounce back after their loss and take the second game with a final score of 5-3.
Ercolani’s second inning home run would provide three of the five runs for the Lady Rams. Walasavage and Altenburger both had doubles, which provided key hits for the Rams.
Due to inclement weather, the Golden Rams were forced to cancel two competitions this previous week against Goldey-Beacom and Philadelphia University. The makeup date for Goldey-Beacom College is scheduled to take place at home on Thursday, April 7, at 2:30 pm. There is no makeup date set for Philadelphia University.
The Rams have two home contests this week, Wednesday, March 23 against Holy Family University at 2:30 p.m., and Saturday, March 26 against PSAC competitor Millersville, at 1 p.m.
Monica Twardowski is a second-year student. They can be reached at MT814571@wcupa.edu