SALEM, Va. – The seventh-ranked West Virginia Wesleyan Lady Bobcats survived a scare and an upset bid from upstart Urbana today in their first game of the Mountain East Conference Tournament at the James I. Moyer Complex.
Urbana entered the tournament as the eighth seed, but took an early 3-0 lead and a 6-5 advantage before Wesleyan pulled out a 7-6 win.
In their second game the Lady 'Cats faced rival Charleston and used a three-run sixth inning to survive with a 7-4 victory.
The two wins hiked Wesleyan's (42-6) winning streak to 17 and put them in the winner's bracket finals tomorrow at 2:30 p.m. against UVa.-Wise.
In game one, Hannah Vet entered the contest as the nation's number two pitcher in earned-run-average with a 0.64, but she was uncharacteristically roughed up in the first inning.
She allowed three runs in that first inning including a two-run home run by Caitlyn Stoner.
Wesleyan responded with a five-run outburst in the bottom of the second inning.
Krista Waggoner hit one-run single to right center, Brittani Bible laid down a sacrifice bunt that scored a run and Brooklyn Waddell had the big hit in the inning with a three-run double to right center.
That treated Wesleyan to a 5-3 lead.
Urbana countered with three more runs in the top of the third to retake the lead at 6-5.
It took Wesleyan little time to grab the lead back as Waddell hit a two-run double to right center in the bottom of the third.
That gave Wesleyan a 7-6 lead and wrapped up the scoring as both teams failed to score the rest of the way.
Urbana threatened in the top of the seventh as they put runners at first and second with two outs, but Sayaka Foley came into pitch and retired Stoner with a called strike three to end the contest.
Waddell paced the offense with two hits and 5 RBIs.
Vet earned the win as she improved her mark to 20-2.
She went 6 2/3 innings and gave up six earned runs on nine hits while striking out four.
Foley earned her first save of the season pitching 1/3 of an inning.
In game two with Charleston, Wesleyan jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first after Pogue scored on an illegal pitch and Jessica Rodriguez singled home Gore.
Charleston made it a 2-1 game with a run in the top of the fourth.
The Lady Bobcats made it a 4-1 contest in the bottom of the fourth when Waddell singled home Taylor Barnett (pictured) and Pogue raced home on a throwing error by Charleston.
Charleston answered with a three-run fifth inning to deadlock the game at 4-4.
Wesleyan won the game with a three-run sixth inning.
Waddell started the scoring with a one-run single and Gore and Sara Scoone each added one-run singles to make it a 7-4 contest.
Vet came in relief of Foley and kept Charleston off the scoreboard the final 2 2/3 innings of action.
Wesleyan collected 11 hits with Pogue, Waddell, Gore, Rodriguez and Barnett each getting two apiece.
Foley started the game and earned a no-decision going 4 1/3 innings and allowing three earned runs on eight hits while striking out two.
Vet (21-2) earned the win tossing 2 2/3 innings of relief as she allowed just one hit while striking out four.
(Photo courtesy of the MEC)