Stonehill Opens Season With Split Against Nationally Ranked Opponents

Junior Alison Sumski went 3-for-4 and delivered the game-winning RBI single in Stonehill's season-opening victory over #23 West Virginia Wesleyan today.

Skyhawks top #23 West Virginia Wesleyan, 3-2, before falling to #7 West Chester, 11-3

CLERMONT, Fla. (March 8, 2015) – The Stonehill College softball team opened its 2015 campaign today with a split against a pair of nationally ranked opponents at the Dot Richardson Spring Games in Clermont, Florida. Stonehill defeated West Virginia Wesleyan College, which is ranked No. 23 in this week's National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) Division II Poll, by a 3-2 score before dropping an 11-3 decision to No.7 West Chester (Pa.) University.

Stonehill 3, #23 West Virginia Wesleyan 2

Stonehill opened its season in exciting fashion, walking off with a 3-2 victory over West Virginia Wesleyan with a two-run rally in the bottom of the seventh inning. Junior Alison Sumski (Amherst, New Hampshire/Souhegan) led the Skyhawks at the plate, as she went 3-for-4 and delivered the game-winning RBI single. Classmates Megan Staudle (New Windsor, New York/Cornwall Central), Lauren Esposito (Middlefield, Connecticut/Coginchaug), and Cayleigh McCarthy (Norfolk, Massachusetts/King Phillip) added one hit each for Stonehill.

Junior Sarah Ropiak (Acton, Massachusetts/Acton Boxborough) got the start in the circle and turned in an impressive performance, going the distance and giving up just two runs while striking out two batters and walking none to earn the victory.  

Sophomore infielder Brooklyn Waddell (Buckhannon, West Virginia/Buckhannon-Upshur) accounted for two of the Bobcats' six hits, while junior Ashley Hurey (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania/West Allegheny) went 1-for-3 with a two run double. Sophomore Olivia Gore (Berryville, Virginia/Clarke County) and senior Rachel Ramsey (Acme, Pennsylvania/Mount Pleasant) chipped in with a hit and a run each.

After a scoreless first, Hurey staked West Virginia Wesleyan to a 2-0 lead with a two-out, two-run double, plating Ramsey and Gore. Stonehill answered with one run in the bottom of the third, as Sumski drove in Esposito with an RBI single to cut the Bobcats' lead in half.

With West Virginia Wesleyan still clinging to a one-run lead in the seventh inning, Stonehill mounted a game-winning rally. McCarthy got it started with a pinch-hit, one-out single, before stealing second to get into scoring position. After a groundout brought the Skyhawks to within one out of defeat, sophomore Taylor Lester (East Northport, New York/St. Anthony's) reached base on an error, advancing McCarthy to third. Esposito came up next and delivered the game-tying RBI single, and Sumski followed with the game-winning hit, another RBI single, as Lester came in to score. 

#7 West Chester 11, Stonehill 3

West Chester piled up 11 runs on 18 hits en route to an 11-3 victory over Stonehill in the Skyhawks' second game of the day. Sophomore outfielder Sarah Walasavage (Minersville, Pennsylvania/Minersville) led the Golden Rams at the plate, going 3-for-4 with two RBI and two runs out of the leadoff spot, while senior catcher Erin Whitman (Harrisburg, Pennsylvania/Central Dauphin) went 2-for-2 with three RBI.

McCarthy recorded a two-run single in her only at-bat, and classmate Emily Padilla (Wappinger Falls, New Jersey/Roy C. Ketcham) walked and drove in a run. Sophomore Michelle Carbone (Deer Park, New York/St. Anthony's) went 1-for-2 with a run, while freshman Erin Brayden (Saco, Maine/Thornton Academy) collected her first collegiate hit.

West Chester had its offense working from the outset of the contest, as the Golden Rams put two runs on the board in each of the first two frames, before scoring once in the third and three times in the fourth on their way to an 8-0 lead.

Stonehill struck back with three runs of its own in the bottom of the fourth, coming on a bases loaded walk by Padilla followed by a pinch-hit, two-run single off the bat of McCarthy. That would be all the offense the Skyhawks would muster, however, while West Chester added another run in the fifth and two more in the seventh.

Stonehill (1-1, 0-0 NE-10) will be back in action tomorrow with games against Millersville University (9 a.m.) and Mercy College (11 a.m.).

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