West Chester edges Shepherd for World Series berth
SHEPHERDSTOWN – Shepherd clogged the bases with runners in both the sixth and seventh innings of its NCAA Division II Super Regional softball championship game against West Chester.
But after scoring a run in the sixth, the Rams left the bases loaded. In a near repeat of that scenario, Shepherd scored one more run in the seventh, but again left the bases loaded, and fell, 4-3, to the Golden Rams. It was West Chester surviving against Shepherd, and winning itself a berth in the eight-school softball College World Series.
Shepherd had reached the Super Regional hosted by West Chester by winning one section of the Atlantic Regional when it vanquished Concord, Lock Haven and West Liberty.
West Chester had won the second section of the Atlantic Regional.
The Shepherd vs. West Chester match was a best two-out-three series.
The Golden Rams rolled past Shepherd, 10-1, in 4.5 innings of a mercy-rule game in the series opener. It was a seven-run third inning followed by a three-run fourth that gave the Golden Rams their runaway win. Lori Sturgill suffered the pitching loss for Shepherd. Sturgill’s home run was one of only three hits Shepherd managed. Sturgill was 18-8 with the tournament pitching loss.
In the second game, the Rams staggered West Chester with a four-run third and then a three-run fifth to win, 7-1, and force a third and deciding game.
Leann Brown was 3-for-3, with two RBIs. Sturgill went 2-for-2, with two runs scored and two RBIs.
Taylor Stocks had a complete-game win to improve her record to 19-6. Stocks spaced seven hits, while fanning three and walking three.
The third and deciding game went down to the last out before West Chester could claim a 4-3 win.
Shepherd trailed 4-1, going to the top of the sixth, where Lindsey Anderson singled home Daisy Adams from third to cut the deficit to 4-2. But the Rams left the bases loaded and trailed 4-2 going to the top of the seventh. In the last inning, Connor Gilligan singled to score Kaitlyn Konopka from third, cutting West Chester’s lead to 4-3. But with the bases loaded again and with two outs, an infield groundout ended that threat, leaving Shepherd one run short.
The Rams finished the season with a 42-18 overall record.