Hilltoppers' MEC Tournament Run Comes Up Short

SALEM, Va. – West Liberty's Mountain East Conference Tournament run came to an end here Sunday afternoon as West Virginia Wesleyan held on for a 2-1 win in the losers’ bracket final at the Moyer Sports Complex.

   Coach Herb Minch's two-time defending champion Hilltoppers (35-21-1) still hope to receive an at-large bid to their third consecutive NCAA Atlantic Region Tournament while the Bobcats advanced to Sunday's championship finals against Fairmont State.

   Sidney Little got West Liberty off to a flying start on Sunday when she launched a solo blast over the left field fence in the top of the first for a 1-0 Hilltopper lead.

   The Black and Gold carried that advantage into the third inning only to see a pair of errors open the door for West Virginia Wesleyan to push a pair of unearned runs across the plate.

   Gifted with a 2-1 lead, Bobcat hurler Abby O'Shields slammed the door the rest of the way. The returning All-Region southpaw retired 12 of the last 13 Hilltoppers to finish off the complete-game win.

   Riley Conkle snapped O'Shields' run of nine consecutive outs with a leadoff single in the top of the seventh but wound up stranded at first when the Bobcat pitcher got the next three outs to end the game.

   Katie Beeman had two of West Liberty's five hits and added a stolen base. Taylor Bonnett pitched well in relief, blanking the Bobcats on three singles while striking out three and not walking a batter over the final four innings.



MEC Tournament

(at Salem, Va.)

Losers' Bracket Final

W.Va. Wesleyan 2, West Liberty 1

West Liberty                         100 000 0 – 1 5 2

W.Va. Wesleyan                  002 000 x – 2 5 0

    WLU: Amend (0SO, 1W), Bonnett (3) (3SO, 0W) and M.Blair. Beeman 2S; Little HR, rbi

    WVW: A.O'Shields (7SO, 1W) and S.O'Shields. Hightower 2S; S.O'Shields 2S

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