Walkoff Win Completes West Liberty Sweep
WEST LIBERTY, W.Va. – Katie Beeman squeezed home the winning run with one out in the bottom of the seventh here Tuesday to complete West Liberty's sweep of Ohio County rival Wheeling in a Mountain East Conference doubleheader at the WLU Softball Complex.
Coach Herb Minch's Hilltoppers (23-11, 15-7) had handed the Cardinals (9-27, 6-18) a 3-0 setback in the first game before breaking out the dramatics for a 4-3 win in the nightcap.
In the second game, Kat Donzella snapped a 1-1 deadlock in the bottom of the fifth with a two-out two-run home run into the trees behind the left field fence and West Liberty took a 3-1 lead into the sixth. That advantage proved short-lived as Wheeling's Cassi Roman cleared the fence with a two-run blast of her own in the top of the sixth, knotting the score again at 3-3.
The score remained tied until the bottom of the seventh. Sidney Little got WLU started with a leadoff single to center and the Cardinals intentionally walked Donzella to put runners on first and second with nobody out.
Allie Cook dropped down a sacrifice bunt, moving the runners to second and third to set the stage for Beeman's game-winning suicide squeeze.
The Hilltoppers managed just six hits in the second game. Laral Saunders had two of them, a single and an RBI double in the second inning.
In the opener, Makenzie Amend got it done in the circle and at the plate for the Black and Gold. The senior ace struck out nine and didn't walk a batter in blanking the Cardinals over the first six innings to get the win, giving her 21 consecutive scoreless innings over the past four games.
Amend also paced the Hilltoppers' eight-hit attack by going 3-for-3 and driving in an insurance run with a two-out RBI single in the bottom of the fifth. Annie Paterson broke the scoring ice with a two-run single in the third inning and Donzella laced out a pair of hits.
West Liberty will host Fairmont State in a crucial MEC North Division doubleheader on Saturday. First game is set for a 2 p.m. start.
West Liberty 3, Wheeling 0
Wheeling 000 000 0 – 0 3 2
West Liberty 002 010 x – 3 8 1
WU: Kemp lp (2SO, 5W) and Munoz. Roman 2S
WLU: Amend wp (9SO, 0W), Bonnett (7) (0SO, 1W) and Donzella. Amend 3S, rbi; Donzella 2S; Paterson S, 2rbi
West Liberty 4, Wheeling 3
(1 out when winning run scored)
Wheeling 001 002 0 – 3 5 1
West Liberty 010 020 1 – 4 6 2
WU: Lafferty lp (3SO, 2W) and Fogle. Fogle D, S; Roman HR, 2rbi
WLU: Paterson (3SO, 0W), Bennington wp (7) (3SO, 2W) and Donzella. Saunders D, S, rbi; Donzella HR, 2rbi