Watson And Cunningham Homers Power W&J Softball Sweep
WASHINGTON, Pa. -- Freshman Emily Watson (Harmony, Pa./Seneca Valley) blasted a walkoff solo home run in the bottom of the eighth inning to lift Washington & Jefferson to a key 5-4 Presidents' Athletic Conference softball victory over Thiel in game one on Thursday afternoon at Brooks Park. The Presidents then rallied to earn the sweep, behind a a six-run sixth inning, defeating the Tomcats 7-6 in the nightcap.
Watson went 4-for-4 in the opening win which gave Head Coach Nicole Vitello the 100th victory of her career. She posted two singles, a double and the home run which led off the bottom of the eighth.
The Tomcats (14-18, 7-9) scored a pair of runs in the top of the first inning in game one, but the Presidents (22-12, 11-5) cut the lead in half during their first time at the plate as junior shortstop Kelsey Cunningham (McMurray, Pa./Peters Twp.) singled and scored when sophomore third baseman Sadie Marak (Butler, Pa./Butler) grounded into a double play.
The Presidents tied the game in the fourth on sophomore catcher Susan Lessman's (Dalton, Ohio/Dalton) single, but Thiel reclaimed the lead in the fifth on Danielle Massengill's two-out homer.
W&J went ahead for the first time in the bottom of the fifth as senior second baseman Stephanie Zur (Bethel Park, Pa./Bethel Park) tripled in Cunningham and Marak followed with a RBI single down the third base line. The Presidents were one out away from winning the game in the seventh, but Massengill raced home from second on an infield single to force extra innings, setting up Watson's heroics.
Freshman Krista McCartney (Salem, Ohio/United Local) earned the win after hurling all eight innings for the Presidents. She allowed two earned runs on eight hits and struck out five. Cunningham had two hits and scored twice for W&J, while Zur also notched a pair of base hits.
Allison Williams suffered the loss for the Tomcats after allowing three earned runs on 11 hits. She did not walk a batter or record a strikeout.
Massengill clubbed solo homers in the first and third innings of game two to give the Tomcats a 2-0 lead.
Zur plated the Presidents' first run when doubling home sophomore left fielder Breanna Gleason (Baden, Pa./Ambridge) in the top of the fifth. However, Madison Cheek smacked a two-run homer in the bottom of the fourth as Thiel seemed to halt W&J's momentum and up its advantage to 4-1.
Everything changed in the top of the sixth when W&J rallied for six runs. Senior center fielder D.J. Ufolla (Pittsburgh, Pa./Perry) singled in the first two runs, while Gleason tied the game with a single to right field. Cunningham then lined a three-run home run to center field for the go-ahead runs. During the rally, Marak produced a pinch-hit single to keep the inning alive. She left the first game due to a leg injury, but returned after receiving stitches at the hospital to help keep the W&J comeback alive.
McCartney earned her second win of the twinbill after pitching 2 2/3 innings of relief. Gleason went 3-for-3 at the plate, while Watson and Cunningham both recorded two-hit games.
W&J closes its Presidents' Athletic Conference regular-season schedule Saturday at Waynesburg (1:00 pm).