WEST LIBERTY, W.Va. – Makenzie Amend fired a no-hitter and the West Liberty University softball team clinched a share of its third straight Mountain East Conference North Division title on Monday with a 9-0 victory over Glenville State.
Monday's win – the Hilltoppers' (32-19-1, 22-10) eighth in a row – tied West Liberty with Frostburg State (27-16, 22-10) for the top spot in the final MEC North Division standings.
The MEC recognizes both teams as co-North Division champions for the 2022 season and will use a series of tiebreakers to set the seeding for the MEC Tournament, which gets under way later this week in Salem, Va.
Monday's game with Glenville was actually the completion of a suspended game from April 11, which had been halted by rain in the bottom of the first inning.
Amend had struck out the side in the top of the first last month and picked up right where she left off on Monday, fanning 10 and issuing just one walk. The Pioneers (17-27, 13-19) never got a runner past second base.
Annie Paterson's RBI double highlighted a two-run first inning for West Liberty and proved to be more than enough offensive support for Amend.
The Hilltopper bats were far from finished, however, as the Black and Gold batted around in the bottom of the third to score seven runs and bring the 8-run "mercy rule" into play.
Katie Beeman and Savannah Holbrook each smacked out two-run singles while Jairika Baylor also singled in a run as West Liberty put the game out of reach.
Amend retired the Pioneers in order in the fourth before closing things out with three more strikeouts in the top of the fifth to end the game.
The two-time defending MEC champion Hilltoppers begin their quest for a "three-peat" on Friday in Salem. Tournament seeds and schedules will be announced by the MEC later this week.
West Liberty 9, Glenville State 0
Glenville State 000 00 - 0 0 1
West Liberty 207 0x - 9 9 1
GSC: Fridley lp (0SO, 4W), Thimmes (3) (1SO, 1W) and Richardson
WLU: Amend wp (10SO, 1W) and M.Blair, Holbrook (2). Paterson D, S, rbi; Mancuso 2S; Beeman S, 2rbi; Holbrook S, 2rbi; Baylor S, rbi