Photo credits: Danny Aguilar via wcupagoldenrams.com
On Feb. 10, West Chester University’s Women’s Softball team opened up the 2023 season with doubleheader action against Le Moyne College.
The two teams squared off on West Chester’s home turf for a pair of games starting at 12:00, followed immediately by the second matchup. In Game 1, Le Moyne went up early in the second inning thanks to an RBI groundout by Elaina Kassap to put the Dolphins up 1–0. An inning later, West Chester would bounce back with a three spot to put the Golden Rams up 3–1. Grace Aguilar opened up the scoring for West Chester with a two run double, and the inning was capped off with an additional run on a wild pitch that allowed Katelyn Rittenbaugh to score.
From this point on it was all Le Moyne as the team took the lead in the fifth inning and never looked back. Audrey Benderski tied the game with a two run double, and Mckenzie Bergdoll broke the tie by reaching on a fielder’s choice that allowed a run to score. The Golden Rams would be held scoreless the following three innings and would go on to lose the game by a final score of 4–3.
In Game 2, West Chester opened up the scoring with a third inning single from Rittenbaugh that brought home Madison Melvin to put the team up 1–0. Le Moyne would go on to add a pair of runs to make the score 2–1 heading into the sixth inning. Momentum swung the Golden Rams way in the sixth inning as the team exploded for seven runs including an Alexa Peterson double, Madison Melvin triple, and Abigail Quinn grand slam home run that pushed the lead to 8–2. Pitcher Samantha Klug shut down the Le Moyne offense in the seventh inning with a 1–2–3 inning to seal the victory for West Chester. Klug pitched a complete game for the Golden Rams, allowing four hits, two runs and striking out five on 86 total pitches.
Looking ahead, West Chester has a lengthy schedule this spring with over 40 games spread out through the end of April. They will return to the diamond on Feb. 24 at the NFCA DII Leadoff Classic in Columbus, Georgia for a weekend long tournament that will see the team play five games in three days including a rematch with Le Moyne. The Golden Rams will have a string of non-conference games through mid March before opening conference play with a matchup with the Lock Haven Bald Eagles.
Expectations are high for West Chester this year as the team looks to clinch their 16th consecutive winning season, a streak that started back in the 2008 season. The team is led by head coach Diane Lokey who is returning for her 20th season at the helm. Lokey has played a big part in turning West Chester’s softball program around, as the team went without a winning season for over a decade before her arrival. Since 2008, the Golden Rams have racked up 522 victories, two PSAC titles and have made it to four National Championships.
For more information on West Chester University’s softball team including schedules, statistics, rosters and ticket sales, visit the Golden Rams athletics website to find out more.
Erick Klambara is a fourth-year MDC major with a minor in Journalism. EK924666@wcupa.edu