WLU Softball winning streak reaches 10 games

Graduate Student and outfielder Katie Beeman at bat during game play.

West Liberty’s softball team secured six straight wins during what turned out to be a perfect week for the reigning MEC champions. After a mixed set of results against non-conference opposition to start the season, the Hilltoppers were eager to get MEC play underway, which came with the visit of Alderson Broaddus on Sunday.

Before their home matchup against the Battlers, WLU traveled for matches against Atlantic region opponents Shepherd University and Salem University. The week began with a win against regional powerhouses Shepherd, with the Toppers taking a pair of wins against the Rams. They took a 5-1 decision in the first matchup before securing their third shutout of the season with a 6-0 win.

Senior pitcher Annie Patterson was in fine form throughout the doubleheader, striking out 12 Shepherd batters, with an impressive nine of those coming in the second fixture. The All-Region selection also had a strong performance at the plate, breaking the deadlock with an RBI double in the fourth inning.

It was another strong pitching performance that carried WLU to a pair of wins against Salem, as the Tigers failed to score in either game. Patterson linked with fellow veteran pitcher Makenzie Amed to record a no-hitter in the first game while there was no stopping the Toppers at the plate, as they combined for an impressive 12 runs in the fourth and fifth innings.

The two-time defending MEC champions were ruthless towards the end of the first game as those dozen runs triggered the fifth inning “mercy-rule” meaning they took a 14-0 victory going into the final matchup. The Tigers were again limited to few hits as West Liberty’s pitchers kept their fine form rolling with another shutout win, keeping momentum heading into conference play.

In their first home and conference games of the season, WLU wasted no time in getting their defense of their MEC championship started as the standout duo of Patterson and Amed again showed their class on the way to another no-hitter and the team’s eighth consecutive win on Sunday against the Battlers.

The no-hitter came in the first of two matches on the day as they rolled to a 7-0 win before handing their opponents a 5-2 to seal the sweep. Head Coach Herb Minch was pleased with the performances of the teams pitchers as Patterson walked just one in the first six innings before Amed took the reigns and struck out the Battlers in the final inning.

WLU were also fast starting at the plate as Patterson also chipped in with a two-run home and a single while Grace Swigart contributed with similar scoring. It wasn’t so easy for the Toppers in the second game as they trailed 2-1 heading into the fifth inning where they came to life, scoring 4 runs to clinch a 5-2 win and a perfect start to MEC action.

West Liberty softball will be looking to continue their win streak as they are back in action Saturday, March 26 where they travel to Institute, W.Va. for a doubleheader against West Virginia State University. For more information about West Liberty University softball visit hilltoppersports.com.