Softball salvages one bout with Vulcans

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Between a week of rain and snow, it’s been hard to get a nice day in for a softball game at the Slippery Rock softball complex. The Slippery Rock women’s softball team prepared to face off against opponent California (Pa.) this week for a four-game series that was postponed multiple times.

Finally, the two teams met at the Lilley Softball Field. In the first set of doubleheaders, Slippery Rock (1-9,1-9 PSAC West), suffered two close losses. In game one, both teams put up an impressive fight, but ultimately the California (Pa.) Vulcans (11-3, 11-3 PSAC West) took away the first game winning by just one run. The final score was 6-5 and was taken to eight innings.

Throughout the close game, catcher Leah Vith smacked a triple, a run scored, and an RBI while going 3-for-6 on the day. Cami Fisk, Alexa Guglielmino, and Courtney Hoffman all added to the scoreboard offensively, adding multiple hits. Regan Hozak also scored on a Fisk fielder’s choice, giving them an early advantage.

Chloe Sharman remained in the circle for Slippery Rock in relief, with a total of 5.1 innings over both games, allowing just 3 earned hits.

The one run lead wasn’t enough for Slippery Rock to hold onto, forcing Cal U to fight back and take it from a normal seven inning game to an intense eight inning battle for victory. After forcing extra innings, the Vulcans walked away the winners of game one.

Alexa Pastor was the girl behind the bat of the walk-off RBI-single to secure the victory for Cal U. Kaitlyn Leary put away Slippery Rock in the final chances to comeback from the mound.

Kelsi Anderson (1-4), starting pitcher on the day, took the loss and allowed six runs, three of which were earned. On a positive note, Anderson struck out eight batters before relief came in.

As for game two, the outcome was no different, as the Vulcans took another win, but this time only 4-2.

Claire Zimmerman started out strong, until Cal U recorded three-straight run-producing hits, including a home run from Wilson and RBI triples from Pinneri and Carson. Coming out with a lead of 3-0 in the second inning, Sherman was called in to relieve Zimmerman. Sherman allowed only one more run the entire game, but the bats of Slippery Rock couldn’t keep up.

Vith led the offense for The Rock going 1-for-3 with an RBI triple, and pinch hitter Maggie Moore added an RBI single in game two also. The two runs in the fourth and seventh innings weren’t enough to come back as the rest of the game remained slow and scoreless, and runners were left stranded in scoring position.

The Vulcans took away game two, 4-2, and it was time to pack up, go home, and prepare for another day of doubleheader play.

As the weather was unpredictable, games were moved and finally the two teams were able to face each other again.

For game one of the second series, Kelsi Anderson took to the circle for an eventful Vulcans lineup. California (Pa.) pitcher Ellie Lobdell tallied ten strikeouts on the day, while Anderson had eight. For Anderson, it was her second-best game thus far this year with that many strikeouts.

It wasn’t enough to stop the bats of Cal U (12-4, 12-4 PSAC West), who shut out Slippery Rock 4-0 game one. The offense for The Rock (2-10, 2-10 PSAC West) was led by Guglielmino going 2-for-3, with a pair of singles. However, that wasn’t enough to get runners in scoring position and the game fell flat.

Julianna Hutchinson, Lexie Zavarelle, Courtney Hoffman, and Anna Villes added to the day offensively also.

For the Cal Vulcans, Brooke Wilson got things going with an RBI and run scored to give them an early advantage. She would go 2-for-3 on the day and Paige Wilson added a double. Lastly, for the Cal U offense was Charity Henderson who stole a base and went 1-for-3 extending the lead.

After the early 1-0 start for Cal U, there was no momentum going forward. The Slippery Rock women’s softball team took the loss and moved on.

In game two of the second series, there was a spark within Slippery Rock, who then pulled of an impressive 4-0 win and split the day with Cal U.

Claire Zimmerman had a complete-game, three-hit win, a great day at the plate and dominated from the mound. Teammate Cami Fisk went 4-for-4 with an RBI to advance the team to a victory.

The shutout came along with the four-run bottom of the sixth inning lead. Both teams remained sharp and scoreless before The Rock was able to break away and got their bats going.

Maggie Moore’s pinch hit double and Regan Hozak’s pinch running scored on a fielding error to get things going at 1-0. The advantage climbed when Zimmerman made things 3-0 off a bases-loaded walk, followed by a passed ball that Villies scored on.

Zimmerman had a big day, coming up strong when bases were loaded and the team needed her most. It was her first complete game win of her collegiate career and she did well both offensively and defensively.

While Slippery Rock led at the plate, Paige Wilson and Britney Wilson each doubled trying to fight back some runs for Cal U.

With this win, Coach Stacey Rice passed volleyball head coach Laurie Lokash for the third-most wins by a head coach in program history with a record 102.

All around it was a good takeaway split on the day heading into the next round of matchups. Slippery Rock is working with current weather postponement to get in the next series against Gannon University.

The team is set for two doubleheader series this upcoming weekend both home and away. First Slippery Rock will host Gannon Golden Knights at 1 p.m Saturday for a doubleheader, and then will travel to Erie for the second round of gameplay.

Madison Williams is a sophomore Communications & Converged Journalism Major and has a minor in sports management. Madison is a first-year member of both The Rocket and WSRU-TV news as an anchor. After graduation, Madison plans to score a job in Sports Broadcasting.

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