BUCKHANNON – It was a frustrating day both at the plate and on the field for the 12th-ranked West Virginia Wesleyan Lady Bobcats as they hosted the University of Charleston Golden Eagles in game one of the NCAA Division II Atlantic Super Regional today at Culpepper Field.
The Lady Bobcats dropped a 6-3 decision in eight innings of action.
At the plate, Wesleyan continued to pop-up offerings from Charleston pitcher Alli Burdette and in the field, the Lady 'Cats committed three errors on routine plays.
"You would think after playing 62 games, we would be able to make those plays," remarked a dejected Wesleyan head coach Steve Warner. "We picked the worst possible time to make errors like that. At the plate, we just kept popping everything up."
In the top of the first, Charleston's Katelyn Hamilton drew a one-out walk, went to second when a potential double play ball was misplayed, moved to third on a hit batsman and scored on a single by Bethany Williams to give the Golden Eagles a 1-0 lead.
Charleston head coach Ray Loeser elected to start Jessie Rowe in the circle instead of MEC Pitcher of the Year Burdette.
That would be a costly decision as Wesleyan scored all three of their runs in the bottom of the first.
Loeser made the move to Burdette who walked Sara Scoone to load the bases again, but she was able to get a fly out for the third out of the inning as Wesleyan left the bases loaded.
Hamilton singled home Alyssa Stanley in the top of the second to make it a 3-2 game and then Kelly Browning hit a solo home run to lead off the top of the third inning to deadlock the game at 3-3.
Charleston put runners at second and third with no outs in the bottom of the fifth but Wesleyan starting pitcher and Atlantic Regional Pitcher of the Year Hannah Vet worked her way out of the jam.
The Golden Eagles left the bases loaded in the bottom of the sixth inning as Vet forced Browning into a ground out at third base to end the inning.
Wesleyan put runners at second and third with no outs in the bottom of the sixth inning, but couldn't push a run across.
Charleston won the game in the top of the eighth inning when Browning hit a three-run home run.
Wesleyan was retired in order in the bottom of the eighth.
The Lady Bobcats had three hits in the contest with Honce, Hurey and Rodriguez each getting one.
Vet suffered the loss as her record dropped to 24-5. She went all eight innings and allowed five earned runs on 11 hits while walking four.
Burdette earned the win for Charleston going 7 1/3 innings and allowing no earned runs on two hits.
The loss will force Wesleyan to have to defeat Charleston tomorrow twice to win the super regional.
Game two of the tournament will begin at noon and the "If" game is slated to start at 2:30 p.m.
Wesleyan has defeated twice Charleston in one day as they accomplished the feat 10 days again in the MEC Tournament to win the post-season championship.
Wesleyan will enter tomorrow's game with a 53-10 record while Charleston will bring a 49-9 record into the game.
(Photo courtesy of Peter Galarneau Jr.)