BUCKHANNON – Morgan Bruce (pictured) hit two home runs and knocked in five runs to lift the West Virginia Wesleyan Lady Bobcats to a dominating 9-0 victory over the University of Charleston Golden Eagles in the finals of the NCAA Division II Atlantic 2 Regional Tournament.
The contest ended in the fifth inning as Wesleyan won the game on the eight-run mercy rule.
In the double-elimination tournament, Wesleyan needed just one win while Charleston would have to beat Wesleyan twice for the championship.
"The team wanted to do this in one game today," remarked head coach Steve Warner.
It certainly showed on the field as the Lady Bobcats left no doubt to who the dominate team was today.
Tori Pogue started the bottom of the first when she reached on an error on a comebacker to the pitcher. Brooklyn Waddell sacrificed her to second base and Olivia Gore knocked her home with a single to right field.
That gave Wesleyan a 1-0 lead.
In the bottom of the third inning, the first seven of Wesleyan's eight batters recorded a hit.
Pogue started the inning with a single to center, but was out at second on a fielder's choice off the bat of Waddell.
Gore followed with a two-run home run that gave Wesleyan a 3-0 lead.
Bruce unleashed her first home run, a three-run shot that scored Kula and Rodriguez to give Wesleyan a 6-0 advantage.
The home run chased Charleston starter Jessie Rowe from the game and brought on Alli Burdette, but that didn't slow down the Wesleyan offense.
Following a fly-out, Pogue drew a walk to load the bases.
Waddell wrapped up the scoring in the inning with a single to left field that plated Waggoner as Wesleyan took a 7-0 lead.
With one out in the bottom of the fourth inning, Rodriguez knocked a single to left field.
Bruce crushed her second home run of the game as she put a ball over the left field fence to give Wesleyan a 9-0 lead.
Wesleyan starter Hannah Vet did the rest as she shut the door on Charleston in the top of the fifth.
The Lady Bobcats had 11 hits with Gore, Rodriguez and Bruce each getting two apiece.
Vet improved her record to 25-3 as she pitched all five innings.
She allowed four hits and gave up one walk while striking out one.
The win gave Wesleyan a 47-7 record overall.
The Lady Bobcats will now await to find out who and where they will play the in the NCAA Division II Super Regional. That announcement will be made Monday afternoon.
(Photograph courtesy of Peter Galarneau Jr.)