WEST LIBERTY, W.Va. – West Liberty senior pitching ace Makenzie Amend posted another double-figure strikeout game here Saturday in leading the Black and Gold to a 9-1 mercy rule win over Fairmont State in the first game of a Mountain East Conference doubleheader at the WLU Softball Complex.
The visiting Falcons (17-19, 13-13) rebounded with a 7-0 victory in the second game to earn a split of the MEC North Division twinbill.
In the opener, Amend was dominant in the circle and her teammates backed her with a 10-hit barrage in the mercy-rule win. The senior ace scattered four hits while striking out 10 without issuing a walk to pick up her 11th win of the season in a 6-inning complete game. It was her fifth double-figure strikeout start of the year.
Annie Paterson led the way at the plate for the Hilltoppers (24-18-1, 14-9), driving in four runs with a single and a double. Kayla Mancuso singled twice and scored a pair of runs while Katelynn Blair's pinch-hit two-run homer invoked the 8-run mercy rule with one out in the bottom of the sixth.
Sidney Little walked three times, smacked out an RBI single and scored three runs and Riley Bennington chipped in with a single and an RBI.
In the second game, Fairmont's Caitlyn Kassay fired a four-hit shutout and the Falcons took advantage of some shaky West Liberty fielding to salvage the split.
Emily Riggs belted a solo home run for a 1-0 FSU lead in the top of the second but a crucial two-out error in the top of the third opened the door for the Falcons to push four unearned runs across the plate and break the game open.
That was more than enough support for Kassay, who struck out 10 Hilltoppers while walking just one. Katie Beeman's second-inning double was WLU's only extra-base hit.
West Liberty returns to the WLU Softball Complex on Sunday to host Frostburg State in a battle for first place in the MEC North. Game One is set for a 1 p.m. start.
West Liberty 7, Fairmont State 1
Fairmont State 000 010 - 1 4 1
West Liberty 012 303 - 9 10 1
FSU: Reed lp (3SO, 3W), Strauss (4) (1SO, 1W) and Wetherholt. Workman 2S; Prady S, rbi; Darnell D
WLU: Amend wp (10SO, 0W) and M.Blair. Mancuso 2S; Paterson D, S, 4rbi; K.Blair HR, 2rbi; Little D, rbi; Bennington S, rbi
Fairmont State 7, West Liberty 0
Fairmont State 014 020 0 - 7 7 2
West Liberty 000 000 0 - 0 4 3
FSU: Kassay wp (9SO, 1W) and Waskiewicz. Darnell 2S, rbi; Riggs HR, rbi; Kassay S, 3rbi; Andrews S, rbi
WLU: Bennington lp (4SO, 2W), Paterson (3) (2SO, 1W), Bonnett (6) (0SO, 0W) and Grace. Beeman D