Perennial MEC Powers Split at WLU Softball Complex
WEST LIBERTY, W.Va. – Perennial Mountain East Conference powers West Liberty and West Virginia State split an MEC doubleheader here at the WLU Softball Complex on Saturday afternoon.
The Hilltoppers (8-6, 4-2) were 3-0 shutout victims in the opener but bounced back in the finale to hand the Yellow Jackets (10-6, 7-1) their first MEC loss of the season by a 6-3 count. Coach Herb Minch's hosts had to come from behind in the second game to earn the split as West Virginia State carried a 3-1 lead into the fourth inning. The Black and Gold got one of those runs back in the fourth on a two-out RBI double off the bat of Laral Saunders, setting the stage for a breakout fifth inning. After West Liberty loaded the bases with one out in the fifth, Kat Donzella put the Hilltoppers ahead to stay with a two-run single. Katie Beeman followed with another RBI base knock and Saunders came through again with a run-scoring single as WLU scored four runs on five hits to take a 6-3 lead. Riley Bennington got the win in the circle, striking out four and walking one through the first six innings, and Makenzie Amend retired the side in order in the seventh to complete the win.
Saunders drove in two runs with her double and single while Donzella and Beeman each finished with two singles and two RBIs. In the first game, West Liberty coughed up a pair of unearned runs in the top of the first and that proved to be all the Yellow Jackets needed as the Hilltoppers never got anything going against WVSU hurler Kasey Murphy. The junior righthanded held the hosts to just five singles while striking out six and not walking a batter in a route-going performance. Donzella had two of the Hilltoppers' hits. Sunday’s scheduled doubleheader against Charleston has been postponed due to impending weather issues. The West Liberty softball team will head to Fairmont State on Monday for a 3 p.m. doubleheader.
W.Va. State 3, West Liberty 1
W.Va. State 210 000 0 – 3 9 2
West Liberty 000 000 0 – 0 5 1
WVSU: Murphy wp (6SO, 0W) and Rafuson. Ruth 3S; Rafuson 2S, rbi; Barrett S, rbi
WLU: Bonnett lp (8SO, 1W) and Donzella. Donzella 2S
West Liberty 6, W.Va. State 3
W.Va. State 003 000 0 – 3 4 0
West Liberty 100 140 x – 6 9 1
WVSU: Thompson lp (2SO, 1W), Moore (5) (1SO, 0W) and Rafuson. Ruth S, rbi
WLU: Bennington wp (4SO, 1W), Amend (7) (1SO, 0W) and Donzella. Saunders D, S, 2rbi; Donzella 2S, 2rbi; Beeman 2S, 2rbi