April 10 – BETHANY, W. Va. – Behind a solid game one pitching performance from junior Kelsey Bish (Landisville, Pa./Hempfield), the Bison softball team (9-13, 5-3 PAC) notched a split with Westminster College on Thursday. Bethany captured game one, 3-1, before falling to the Titans, 5-2, in game two.
After Bish held strong over the first three innings in game one, stranding three Titan runners on base, the Bison opened the scoring in the bottom of the third inning. Ashlee Brill (Lancaster, Ohio/Lancaster) led off the inning with a single up the middle, and was moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Jessica Kusnierz (New Castle, Pa./Shenango). Two batters later, Deanna Mihalco (Patterson, N.Y./Brewster) drove in her first RBI of the game, singling home Brill to put the Bison up 1-0.
Westminster would tie the game in the top of the fifth inning on a RBI double by Kelsey Squelch, but the Bison would have an answer in the home half of the sixth inning.
With two outs in the frame, the Bison went to work, getting back-to-back singles from Kayla Kelly (Pasadena, Md./Institute of Notre Dame) and Marissa Bosley (New Martinsville, W. Va./Magnolia). Kadie Kelly (Royal Oak, Md./St. Michaels) would then make it three singles in a row, allowing Kayla Kelly to on the play thanks to an error by the Titan right fielder. The next batter was Brill, who singled through the right side, scoring Bosley to give the Bison a 3-1 lead.
The lead would be more than enough for Bish, who set down the Titans in order in the top of the seventh to preserve the 3-1 win for Bethany.
Offensively, the Bison were led by Brill and Bosley. Bosley totaled her third multi-hit game of the year as she finished with a pair of singles and a RBI. Brill secured her fifth multi-hit game, while also adding a RBI and a run scored.
Bish was electric in her second home start of the season, scattering just four hits over seven innings of work. She allowed just one earned run while striking out five in the victory. It marked the third-consecutive start for Bish in which she has allowed three earned runs or less. It was also her fourth straight in allowing no more than four hits.
In game two, the Titans turned the table, collecting nine hits and handing Bethany the 5-2 defeat.
Once again, the Bison got on the board first in the top half of the first inning. Kusnierz led off the inning with a single up the middle and was moved to second on a sacrifice from Ashlee Needy (Chicago, Ill./Marist). Mihalco then singled to left, and Kusnierz was able to score from second on an error by the Titan left fielder to make the tally 1-0 in favor of Bethany.
Westminster would respond, however, striking for two runs in the bottom of the frame on a bases loaded, two-out single from Lexi Sheffer. They would then add to the lead in the home half of the fifth inning, taking advantage of a sacrifice fly and a two-out error to plate three runs and extend the lead to 5-1.
After a Bosley triple in the top of the seventh, the Bison would show life, getting an RBI base hit from Taylor Solomon (Beltsville, Md./Elizabeth Seton) to cut the score to 5-2. However, that is as close as the Bison would get, as they fell by the same score.
Solomon led the way offensively for the Bison in game two, collecting a season-high three hits and a RBI. Bosley recorded her second triple of the season while also scoring a run.
Junior Kiersten Conwell (Washington, Pa./Chartiers Houston) was solid on the mound, allowing three earned over five innings of work. Bish worked an efficient inning of relief allowing two hits while striking out one.
The Bison will be back in action on Saturday, April 12, as they continue Presidents’ Athletic Conference play against the Tomcats of Thiel College. The doubleheader is slated for a 1 p.m. start.