WVWC Softball starts spring break trip to Florida with 2-1 record


WINTER HAVEN, FL — The West Virginia Wesleyan softball team (4-3) began their Florida spring break trip with two wins in three games. The Bobcats first knocked off Clarion 11-0 on Saturday, March 5 before taking in and losing to Southwest Minnesota State later that day. The Bobcats faced a quick turnaround as they were slated to play Bloomfield the very next day on Sunday, March 6.

 During their 5-inning, 11-0 blowout of Clarion, the Bobcats scored their first of many runs in the second inning following a Destiny Alvarado sacrifice fly that allowed Alli Robinson to score. The Wesleyan offense exploded with eight runs in the top of the 4th inning to effectively end the game. Kiley Turner sparked the Bobcats huge offensive inning with a one-out single. Alvarado followed by knocking a base hit to center field, which put runners at first and second. A Clarion wild pitch then advanced the runners into scoring position. Kaitlyn Rizor drove in Paige Bragg on a single to give WVWC a 2-0 lead. In the next at-bat, Lauren Niglio drove in Alvarado on a fielder’s choice that put the ‘Cats up three. Molly Osborne increased the Wesleyan lead to five after a two-RBI base hit to center. A Morgan Norris hit by pitch loaded the bases. Robinson smacked a grand slam to complete the huge offensive inning for the Bobcats. Robinson added a double to the box score in her big day at the plate. Overall, the game against Clarion allowed the Bobcats to start their spring break trip to Florida off in style. 

 In the fifth inning, Bella Posey singled with one out. Jenna Gomez collected her first hit as a Bobcat to put runners at first and second with two outs. Freshman Alyssa Souders delivered with a two-out single to score Posey. Gomez scored on an error to give WVWC an 11-run cushion.

 Hannah Hudson dominated in the circle. Hudson pitched 5.0 scoreless innings and sat down 11 Golden Eagles. The senior hurler only surrendered one hit and cruised to her second victory of the season.

 The Bobcats offense, who had exploded for 11 runs earlier in the day failed to produce a run in their game against Southwest Minnesota State, which culminated in a 5-inning 10-0 shutout loss. The Mustangs generated four runs in the top of the first inning. The Bobcats offense responded with two hits in the bottom of the first. Grace Hightower and Norris drilled hits in the first frame. WVWC could not plate any runs in the opening inning, which would prove to be a trend in this one. SMSU added four additional runs in the third inning to go up eight runs. The Mustangs scored two more runs in the fifth inning. The Bobcats had to quickly shake off their poor offensive showing against SMSU as their trip was just getting started. 

 Looking to rebound against Bloomfield, the Bobcats came out anxious to redeem themselves after the loss to SMSU left a bad taste in their mouth. Hightower led off the game with a base knock to center field and advanced to second base on a passed ball. Norris placed a single to left and put the runners at the corners. The Bobcats pulled off a double-steal and Hightower got the Bobcats on the board.

 Taylor Swartz produced an infield single with one out in the fourth inning. Alvarado walked and a Bloomfield wild pitch placed the runners at second and third. Turner delivered a sacrifice fly to drive in Swartz. Alvarado scored on a wild pitch to put Wesleyan up 3-0.

The Bobcats manufactured a run in the fifth inning. Osborne singled to left field with two outs. Norris walked and Robinson was hit by a pitch. Swartz contributed a clutch two-out knock to give Wesleyan a four-run advantage after five innings. WVWC added two insurance runs in the seventh inning from Swartz’s second RBI knock and an Alvarado RBI single.

 Kendall Stoffel tossed a complete-game shutout and punched out five Bloomfield hitters. The freshman, a native of Saint Albans, WV, only surrendered two hits in seven innings of work on her way to collecting her second win of the season.

 Up next, the WVWC softball team is slated to continue their spring break trip to Florida as they will take on Seton Hill at 9 a.m. and then Mercyhurst at 11:15 a.m. on Monday, March 7 in Winter Haven.

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