Lady Toppers fight to keep playoff dreams alive

By Kendrick Jackson, Advertising Manager

Hilltopper softball hits the road this weekend to face off against two Mountain East Conference opponents. With tournament play approaching, the team will look for a strong performance in their two doubleheaders as the Black and Gold try to keep a hold of the fourth seed in the north division of the Mountain East Conference standings with just two weeks left in the regular season. 

West Liberty enjoyed a successful homestand last weekend that saw the Lady Hilltoppers finish 4-2. West Liberty swept Glenville State during in both games of their doubleheader. Freshman pitcher Makenzie Amend was one shy of a no-hitter in the first game while the Black and Gold completed a comeback with three runs in the sixth innings during the second game.
The Lady Hilltoppers split both doubleheaders against Shepherd and W. ­­Va. Wesleyan, the defending MEC Champions. Senior infielder, Kelsi Johnson, drove in the winning run in a 11-inning victory against Shepherd. WLU got the upper hand in a back and forth affair during the second game of their Wesleyan doubleheader. As of April 16, the Black and Gold currently sit at 15-17, including 9-13 in conference play.
West Liberty travels to Fairmont on Saturday to take on the Fighting Falcons. As of April 16, Fairmont State is currently .500 at 18-18, and tied with Wheeling Jesuit for the second seed in the north division of the MEC. The Lady Hilltoppers and Fighting Falcons split their first doubleheader earlier this season. 
Fairmont State dominated Concord University in a 14-9 victory last weekend. Senior infielder Beth Cook batted four times which resulted in four home runs. This is nothing new for Cook as she was awarded MEC Player of the Week for her performance during the week of March 18. During that week, Cook scored eight times including one home run. 
As of April 16, Cook currently holds a .429 batting average to go along with 8 home runs for the year. Cook ranks fourth in the MEC for both categories.
Following Fairmont State, WLU will once again play Shepherd University. However, this time, the game will be played on the Lady Rams’ home field on Sunday. As of April 16, Shepherd currently holds the first seed in the north division of the MEC standings at 25-11 overall, including a 16-6 conference record. The Lady Rams have won eight games out of their last ten and this is their fifth consecutive 20-win season.
Senior pitcher Kaitlin Munda did not allow a single run in the games she pitched during Shepherd’s sweep last weekend against Concord University and UVa-Wise. That gave Munda five shutout games for the season, and as of April 16, Munda has a 2.54 ERA. 
The doubleheader with Fairmont begins at 2 p.m. on Saturday, followed by the doubleheader with Shepherd on Sunday at 1 p.m. Make sure you pick up a copy of the Trumpet for more softball previews. 
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