Big first inning pushes Lady Bobcats to game two win

Junior Taylor Swartz. PHOTO COURTESY OF WVWC ATHLETICS

BUCKHANNON — An eight-run inning in game two helped the West Virginia Wesleyan Lady Bobcats Softball Team (27-12-1, 17-5 MEC) mercy run-rule the Charleston Golden Eagles (25-17, 17-9 MEC) this past Saturday, April 23 at Culpepper Field. 

The opening game featured a pitcher’s duel throughout. The game’s first run would be scored by the Golden Eagles in the top half of the third inning. After the Golden Eagles lead the inning off with a double, two batters later, the Golden Eagles were able to plate the runner on a sacrifice fly to right field. 

Hudson was able to keep the score there until the bottom of the fifth when the ‘Cats finally broke into the score column. Grace Hightower reached base on an error by the second baseman and later advanced to second on a wild pitch. Alli Robinson stepped up to the plate and singled through the left side to score Hightower from second and tie up the game. 

Molly Osbourne kept the game tied at one in the sixth when the Golden Eagles attempted a squeeze play but were denied on a great defensive play by Osborne. 

In the seventh, the Golden Eagles had runners on second and third with one out when a fly to centerfield broke the tie and helped the Golden Eagles secure the narrow 2-1 win in game one. 

Star Lady Bobcats’ pitcher Hannah Hudson turned in a quality start in the contest from the circle but was credited with the loss after allowing two runs, only one of which was earned, on seven total hits, while striking out seven Golden Eagle batters during her complete game performance. 

After a quiet game offensively to open the series, the Lady Bobcats’ bats erupted for eight runs in the first inning of game two. Back-to-back singles by Hightower and Osborne allowed the Lady Bobcats to start the game off on a high note, before Robinson dropped down a bunt. Hightower then beat the throw from the Golden Eagles’ pitcher for the game’s first run. Morgan Norris was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded to make it 2-0, advantage Lady Bobcats. Destiny Alvarado would rip a single to center to allow Taylor Swartz to from third and give the Lady Bobcats a 3-0 lead. 

The scoring onslaught wouldn’t finish there. After a Bella Posey RBI groundout, Lauren Niglio, ripped a two RBI single to right-center to free up both Alvarado and Norris to score and extend the lead to 6-0. Batting for the second time in the inning, Hightower would burn the Golden Eagles’ centerfielder for a triple, allowing Niglio to score all the way from first base. Osborne would conclude the scoring as she would score Hightower on an infield single to make it 8-0 after one. 

Swartz would add another run to the total in the bottom of the third, as she singled to left field to score Osborne after she reached on a single of her own. 

The run-rule would come into effect after the top of the fifth inning as the Lady Bobcats softball team closed out a dominant 9-0 victory. 

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