Sun. May 26th, 2024

Image: Madison Melvin, via wcugoldenrams.com, photo by 302 films

On Tuesday, April 9, West Chester University (WCU) softball hosted Wilmington University (Wilm) for a doubleheader and completed a previously-postponed game. Wilm took game one 9-1 and WCU held on to win game two 2-1. In game two, graduate student Madison Melvin became the second Golden Ram to record 300 career hits. 

On March 27, Wilm led WCU 1-0 in the bottom of the third inning when a downpour caused the game to be postponed. The first game of the doubleheader started where they left off a few weeks ago. Brooke Koehler started on the mound for Wilm and gave WCU hitters lots of trouble. The only hit recorded by the Golden Rams was a double to center field by Katelyn Rittenbaugh in the first inning of the game in March. Koehler’s pitching, Wilm’s stellar defense and unlucky hitting placement made for a tough four innings at the plate for WCU. 

Along with making great plays in the field, Wilm had a fantastic game at the plate led by Sara Miller. She hit a two-run home run in the fifth inning to dead-center field, and did it again in the seventh. Miller was responsible for four of Wilm’s nine runs.

Game two went much better for WCU, who recorded six hits and had plenty of base runners throughout the game. Graduate student shortstop Grace Aguilar set a much different tone than the previous game with a double to left-center field. Sophomore Danielle Ciliberto pitched seven phenomenal innings holding Wilm to one run. Ciliberto’s pitching was great, but the defense made big-time plays behind her. Aguilar and Rittenbaugh were in total control of the middle of the field and made countless plays on hard-hit ground balls. 

Melvin led off the fourth inning with a slap hit to left field for her 300th career hit. The game took a brief pause for applause and for Coach Lokey to congratulate Melvin at first base. Freshman Paige Marabell stepped up to the plate and hit a two-run home run to left-center field, putting WCU on top 2-0. Wilm scored quickly in the fifth to make it a one-run game. Two base runners got on and it looked like Wilm would certainly be taking the lead, but left fielder Tess Kearney made an outstanding running catch in foul territory to get the Rams out of the inning still on top. Ciliberto and the defense held on to secure the 2-1 victory. 

Melvin has been a key asset to WCU softball for five years now. In 2023, she went .481 at the plate and stole 37 bases on 41 attempts. She was awarded PSAC East First Team All-Conference, NFCA First Team All-Region, DII CCA First Team ALL-Region, DII CCA Third Team All-American, PSAC East Athlete of the Week, Tucci Sports/NFCA DII Player of the Year watchlist and became fourth among active DII players in career steals. This latest accomplishment, 300 career hits, will be added to her long list of accomplishments. “It is an honor to reach this milestone, but I have a lot more goals I’m looking forward to more specifically as a team,” Melvin told The Quad. 

The Golden Rams are 21-14 overall and 9-7 conference. “This team is so special and we haven’t even reached our full potential yet and I am so excited to keep working to get to that point with them,” said Melvin. “They are making my final season such a memorable one filled with so much support.” 

 


Rebecca Arnold is a fourth-year English major with a minor in Journalism.

RA953057@wcupa.edu

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