Hilltoppers Hammer Wheeling in Softball Sweep

WHEELING, W.Va. – The West Liberty University softball team pounded out 26 hits and crossed the plate 23 times in sweeping a Mountain East Conference doubleheader from Ohio County rival Wheeling at the I-470 Complex.

   Coach Herb Minch's Hilltoppers (27-19-1, 17-10) got things rolling with a 14-6 blowout in the first game before handing the host Cardinals (12-31, 5-23) a 9-4 setback in Game Two.

   In the opener, West Liberty scored 11 runs in the first three innings and never looked back in coasting to the blowout win. The Black and Gold pounded out 17 hits with 11 Hilltoppers collecting at least one base knock.

   Kayla Mancuso, Annie Paterson and Katie Beeman all singled, doubled and drove in a run while Jairika Baylor also lashed out a single and double. Makayla Blair had two singles and three RBIs, Grace Swigart singled twice and chased home a run while Riley Bennington launched a solo home run.

   Sidney Little added a two-run single while Riley Conkle singled and drove in a run.

   In the second game, Wheeling scored three runs in the bottom of the fifth to forge a 4-4 tie but West Liberty answered with two runs in the sixth and three more in the seventh to win going away.

   Bennington homered for the second straight game, drove in three runs and pitched the final two innings to earn the save. Little added a home run and single while Baylor chipped in with another single and double. Conkle lashed a two-run home run in the seventh while Beeman singled and drove in a run.

   The Hilltoppers close out the regular season on the road this weekend with a 2 p.m. doubleheader at Alderson Broaddus on Friday and a 1 p.m. twinbill at Notre Dame (Ohio) on Saturday.

   The Mountain East Conference Tournament is scheduled for May 6-8 in Salem, Va.



West Liberty 14, Wheeling 6

West Liberty                         326 101 1 - 14 17 2

Wheeling                              000 330 0 -  6   8 3

    WLU: Amend wp (6SO, 1W), Bonnett (5) (4SO, 2W) and M.Blair. Mancuso D, S, rbi; Paterson D, S, rbi; Beeman D, S, rbi; Baylor D, S; M.Blair 2S, 3rbi; Swigart 2S, rbi; Bennington HR, rbi; Little S, 2rbi; Conkle S, rbi

    WU: Macy lp (0SO, 0W), Bumbico (3) (0SO, 2W) and Florczak. Slomkowski HR, S, 2rbi; Roman D, S, rbi; Oehlstrom S, 2rbi


West Liberty 9, Wheeling 4

West Liberty                         103 002 3 - 9 9 4

Wheeling                              100 030 0 - 4 7 1

    WLU: Paterson wp (3SO, 1W), Bennington (6) (1SO, 2W) and M.Blair. Bennington HR, 3rbi; Little HR, S, rbi; Baylor D, S; Conkle HR, 2rbi; Beeman S, rbi

    WU: Anderson (1SO, 2W), Holder lp (3) (2SO, 3W) and Florczak. Slomkowski 3S, rbi; Roman 2S; Florczak HR, 2rbi

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