Wheeling, W. Va. – The Wheeling University Softball team (9-14, 2-6) has been road-tested this season, playing all but four of their contests away from the JB Chambers I-470 Softball complex. They continue that road mentality this weekend heading into a pair of doubleheaders against Mountain East Conference (MEC) North Division opponents. They kick the weekend off heading to Fairmont State on Saturday and then head to Maryland on Sunday where they will face Frostburg State to wrap up the weekend.
The last time out for Wheeling’s softball team did not go in their favor as they lost both games in the double header against West Virginia State. In the first game the Cardinals fell 11-3 and followed it up with a 4-1 loss in game two. In both games, the Cardinals were forced to play catchup as the Yellow Jackets built a big lead through the first couple of innings with Wheeling having to battle back. The offense continued to fight throughout each of the two games, but just didn’t have enough in the tank to overcome their slow starts.
Offensively the Cardinals were getting around 5 to 6 hits in both games, but the downfall was defensive, as they gave up 12 hits in the first contest and 8 in the second. These loses dropped the Cardinals to 3-5 in the conference and 12-11 overall. In the second game of the double header Wheeling played better on defense it was just a struggle on offense and hard to put runs on the board. The Cardinals are looking to use these games as motivation and bouncing back in their next time out.
They received a spark off the bench in game one from junior Mia Smallwood, who finished the weekend 2-5 with a walk and an RBI in the two games. She came off the bench as a pinch hitter in the first game of the day and reached base with a single. In her second at-bat, she came up with Makie Paxson in scoring position and was able to drive her home with an RBI single that at the time made it a 4-3 game in the third. The other Cardinal who showed promise on offense was Anna Florczak, who drove in one run in each game. In game one, she reached on a fielder’s choice to bring in the run and followed it up with an RBI single in game two.
The Cardinals head into their fourth MEC North Divisional matchup of the season and are 4-4 in their first eight games. They split doubleheaders with both Alderson Broaddus and Notre Dame in their conference opener and look to get over .500 in divisional play. They currently sit in a tie for fourth place with Notre Dame at 2-6 and are one game behind Fairmont State for third in the division. This is a big weekend for the Cardinals as they are not only taking on the team directly above them in the standings but also get to play the top dog in Frostburg State. Wheeling is looking to gain some ground as they try for an MEC playoff berth.
Fairmont State: This will be the 30th all-time meeting between the Cardinals and Falcons, with Wheeling going 12-17 against them during that time and they are looking to improve their conference and overall record. The last time these two teams met was last April as Fairmont took the victory, winning 3-0. There was not much offense in this game, just strong defense from both teams. A few keys to victory for the Cardinals are hitting, pitching, and trying to limit errors. The Cardinals will need strong games offensively from Taylor HradekAutum Oehlstrom, and Gina Fogle as they lead the team hits.
Frostburg State: This will be the fifth all-time meeting between the Cardinals and Bobcats, with Wheeling going 0-4 in the first four games. The last time these teams faced each other was last season as Frostburg took a commanding 13-3 victory over the Cardinals. In the last match up Cassi Roman led Wheeling offensively with 3 hits. while Alisa Shelt† Brooke Slomkowskiand Abby Bambico each had an RBI to put some points on the board for Wheeling.
The Cardinals open the weekend on Saturday when they battle Fairmont State in doubleheader action on the road with first pitch at 1 PM. You can watch the game live by clicking Lord or follow along with Live Stats by clicking Lord†