Presidents Split With Golden Tornadoes In Beaver Falls
BEAVER FALLS, Pa. -- Junior shortstop Kelsey Cunningham (McMurray, Pa./Peters Township) scored five runs and collected four hits, including a pair of home runs, to highlight Washington & Jefferson's PAC softball split at Geneva on Saturday. The Presidents (20-12, 9-5 PAC) lost game one 9-4, but rebounded with a 12-5 victory in the nightcap.
W&J reached 20 wins for just the fifth time in school history, including the second under sixth-year Head Coach Nicole Vitello (2008, 2013). Geneva (16-15 overall) remained a game ahead of the Presidents in the PAC standings. Washington & Jefferson is currently one game in front of Bethany for the fourth and final spot in the PAC Tournament.
Samantha Johnson and Andrea Hinds combined to limit the Presidents to four hits in the opener. Three of those hits came during a three-run first inning. Cunningham hit a leadoff home run, while sophomores catcher Susan Lessman (Dalton, Ohio/Dalton) and right fielder Chalese Wilson (Washington, Pa./Chartiers-Houston) both drove in runs.
The Golden Tornadoes responded with three of their own in the bottom of the first before tacking on five runs in the third. The first two Presidents reached base in the fifth, but only senior second baseman Stephanie Zur (Bethel Park, Pa./Bethel Park) came around to score and Hinds blanked W&J for the final two frames.
Freshman Emily Watson (Harmony, Pa./Seneca Valley) suffered the loss for W&J after giving up eight runs on eight hits in 2 2/3 innings. Cunningham (2-for-4) was the only President to record more than one base hit.
W&J built a 6-0 lead after two innings in game two and put the contest away with five more in the fourth. Wilson and sophomore third baseman Sadie Marak (Butler, Pa./Butler) both knocked in runs in the first, while Cunningham led off the second with her fourth career home run. Junior first baseman Madison Rotto (Sarver, Pa./Freeport) singled and scored on an error, while Lessman brought home another run on a sacrifice fly.
Zur knocked in two on a single in the fifth, while Marak capped the five-run outburst with a two-run double.
Freshman pitcher Krista McCartney (Salem, Ohio/United Local) benefitted from the run support for her fourth win of the year. She overcame eight walks by holding Geneva to six hits in the complete game performance.
Cunningham went 2-for-3 and scored four times in the nightcap. Marak collected three hits and three runs batted in, while Zur had two hits and also knocked in three. Rotto produced three singles and scored twice.
Johnson was saddled with the loss for Geneva after surrendering six runs (three earned) on four hits in two innings.
W&J's doubleheader Sunday versus Penn State-Behrend has been cancelled so the Presidents will next be in action on Wednesday versus Thiel (3:30 pm).