TROUTVILLE (Va.) – The West Virginia Wesleyan softball team will play for the MEC Tournament Championship tomorrow, but the path by which they got there probably wasn't all that pleasing for head coach Steve Warner.
In the winner's bracket final today, the Bobcats were one-hit as they lost a heartbreaker to the University of Charleston by a 1-0 score.
And then in an elimination game, they gave up a season-worst nine runs to UVa.-Wise and had to hold off a huge rally by the Cavaliers for an 11-9 win.
The win over UVa.-Wise put Wesleyan in the title game in a rematch with Charleston tomorrow at 10 a.m., but the Lady 'Cats will have to defeat them twice in the double elimination tournament if they want to be crowned 2016 MEC post-season champs.
Charleston, who is now 5-0 against the Lady Bobcats this season, scored their lone run in the bottom of the sixth inning.
Rachelle Toppings started the inning reaching on an error and then went to second on a sacrifice bunt.
Laura Ashlock moved Toppings to third with a single and then Toppings scored on a sacrifice fly to centerfield.
Wesleyan's lone hit came in the top of the seventh.
Wesleyan's rally was ended as Olivia Gore flied out to left field for the final out of the game.
Alyssa Shawgo (1-2) pitched well enough for the win for the Lady Bobcats but wound up suffering the loss.
She went the distance and gave up just one unearned run on four this while fanning two.
In the elimination game with UVa.-Wise, the Cavaliers took advantage of two Wesleyan errors as they scored two unearned runs in the top of the first.
The UVa.-Wise defense returned the favor as they committed three errors in the bottom of the first as Wesleyan scored four unearned runs.
A two-run home run by UVa.-Wise's Emily Kale tied the game in the top of the fourth at 4-4.
Waddell returned the lead to Wesleyan in their half of the inning as she singled home Tori Pogue. That made it a 5-4 score.
It looked like Wesleyan put the game away with a six-run fifth inning.
Anna Eggleston hit a two-run double, Waddell had a one-run single, Honce scored Eggleston when her ball was misplayed, Waggoner hit into a fielder's choice that scored Waddell and Gore hit a sacrifice fly that brought home Honce.
That gave Wesleyan an 11-4 lead.
UVa.-Wise though wouldn't go away as they put together a five-run inning in the top of the sixth inning.
That made the score 11-9.
Shawgo came on to pitch the seventh inning and made sure the Cavaliers didn't get any closer.
She didn't allow a hit and struck out two for the save.
Wesleyan had 11 hits in the win with Pogue and Waddell each getting three apiece.
Sayaka Foley earned the win as she upped her record to 17-3. She went five innings and struck out six.
Wesleyan is now 48-8 overall on the season.
(Photo courtesy of the MEC)