By Joshua Laska - Sports/Managing Editor
The 22nd ranked California University of Pennsylvania Vulcan softball team lost two games and were eliminated from the PSAC Tournament early last week. The Vulcans dropped a 4-3 decision to Indian University of Pennsylvania and then they dropped a 3-2 decision to Shippensburg. The Vulcans are now 32-8 on the season and 12-2 in the PSAC. The Vulcans did earn the right to host the NCAA Atlantic Region 2 Tournament and will play Lock Haven today at 3:30 p.m.
In the loss to IUP, sophomore second basemen Natalie Wideman led the way with three hits, batting in two runs and scoring once. One of Wideman’s three hits was her second home run of the season and her career. Freshman shortstop Breanna Morris and freshman right fielder Shelby Heyd were the only other two Vulcans to collect a hit, with Morris scoring once. Freshman center fielder Katie Natter also scored once for the Vulcans.
On the defensive side, sophomore first basemen Shelby Lia led the way with eight putouts, followed by senior catcher Alyson Johnson with four putouts. Morris added three, while senior left fielder Kristen McKenzie and Heyd added two each. Senior third basemen Jillian Russell and Wideman added one putout each. Wideman and Russell led the way with three assists each, while Morris, Lia, and sophomore pitcher Hope Spancake added two, one and one, respectively. Spancake picked up the loss after pitching four innings and giving up three earned runs on five hits. Sophomore pitcher Kaitlyn Schilling finished off the game giving up only one hit in three innings pitched.
Against Shippensburg, Russell led the way with two hits, followed by Wideman who added one hit and scored once. Sophomore center fielder Stephani Ellis added one hit with two runs batted in. Morris, A. Johnson and freshman designated hitter Madison Yanek all picked up one hit, with Yanek’s hit being scored by pinch runner Natter.
Lia led the defensive side of the diamond, with nine putouts, followed by A. Johnson who added five. Ellis added three putouts, while Wideman, McKenzie and Heyd added two, one and one, respectively. A.Johnson led with five assists, followed by Morris and Wideman with three and one, respectively. Spancake picked up the loss with three earned runs in six innings pitched. Schilling pitched the last inning for the Vulcans and picked up two strikeouts against the three batters she faced.
After being selected to host the first rounds of the NCAA Tournament the Vulcans have an uphill climb to try to win a national championship. They begin that climb today against Lock Haven at Liley Field at 3:30 p.m. If the Vulcans should win they will move on to take on the winner of the West Virginia Wesleyan verse Bloomsburg match up, tomorrow at 10:30 a.m. If they loss they will take on the loser of the same match tomorrow at 1 p.m.