W&J Softball Clinches PAC Tournament Spot With Sweep Of Waynesburg
WAYNESBURG, Pa. -- Washington & Jefferson clinched its first Presidents' Athletic Conference Softball Tournament appearance since 2009 on Saturday after sweeping a road doubleheader from Waynesburg. The Presidents (23-12, 13-5) earned the No. 3 seed for next week's PAC Tournament by notching 5-1 and 7-5 victories over the Yellow Jackets (15-21, 7-11 PAC).
Washington & Jefferson's 24 victories are the fourth-highest total in school history and most since the 2008 Presidents rattled off a school-record 28 wins. The Presidents will take on Geneva in the four-team, double-elimination PAC Tournament Thursday at Westminster in New Wilmington (tournament game times to be announced on Sunday).
For the second-straight game, freshman pitcher Krista McCartney (Salem, Ohio/United Local) earned the victory in both games of the doubleheader. In game one, she went the distance and allowed one run on five hits, while striking out a pair.
W&J grabbed a 1-0 lead in the first inning of game one as sophomore third baseman Sadie Marak (Butler, Pa./Butler) singled and scored on an error. The score remained that way until the fourth when W&J added three runs. Senior center fielder D.J. Ufolla (Pittsburgh, Pa./Perry) and freshman left fielder Morgan Figura (Carnegie, Pa./Chartiers Valley) collected RBI singles, while junior shortstop Kelsey Cunningham (McMurray, Pa./Peters Twp.) delivered a run-scoring single.
Waynesburg scored its first run in the fifth, but Marak quickly responded with a RBI single in the sixth. Ufolla and Figura both finished game one with three hits and Figura scored twice.
After falling behind 1-0 in game two, W&J responded with three runs on five hits in the bottom of the first. Freshman starting pitcher Emily Watson (Harmony, Pa./Seneca Valley) had the big hit, a two-run double. Sophomore first baseman Bethany Shepherd's (Cincinnati, Ohio/Northwest) single in the third helped stretch the lead to 5-0.
Waynesburg closed to within 5-4 in the sixth inning, but base hits from Marak and Watson in the bottom half of the inning sealed W&J's win. McCartney pitched two innings and relief and struck out two to improve her record to 8-3. Watson had three hits (two doubles) and three RBI, while Ufolla once again provided three hits and scored twice. Sophomore right fielder Chalese Wilson (Washington, Pa./Chartiers-Houston) also went 3-for-4 at the plate.
The Presidents, who finished the doubleheader with 26 hits, split a doubleheader with Geneva last Saturday in Beaver Falls.