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Softball: Titans Sweep Hiram in Home Opener with Dramatic Finishes

Friday, March 21, 2014

NEW WILMINGTON, Pa. - The Westminster College softball team swept Hiram in its home opener on Friday. The Titans won, 6-5, in game one in 10 innings and won, 3-2, in game two.

In game one, Westminster (8-4) was down, 3-0, going into the bottom of the third inning. Titan senior Lauren Stoczynski (Erie, PA / Harbor Creek) cut Hiram's lead to 3-2 after two RBI-singles, one in the third and one in the fifth inning. Classmate Kelsey Squelch (Pittsburgh, PA / Perry Traditional) scored in the bottom of the seventh inning, tying the game at 3-3.

Hiram (5-7) scored two runs in the top of the 10th inning to take a 5-3 lead. Westminster tied the game, 5-5, in the bottom half after back-to-back RBI-singles from sophomore Brenna Guard (Davenport, IA / Davenport Central) and sophomore Lexi Sheffer (Seneca, PA / Cranberry). Three batters later, Squelch connected on a walk-off RBI-single with two outs, scoring classmate Katy Balko (New Stanton, PA / Hempfield).

Junior Ashley Smith (Spartansburg, PA / Titusville) got the win for Westminster in a complete game effort. Smith gave up five runs off 10 hits and struck out six batters, while walking one. Smith improved to 4-1 on the year.

In the nightcap, Hiram had a 2-0 lead after its first at-bat. The Titans cut Hiram's lead to 2-1 after an RBI-single from Stoczynski in the bottom of the first. Westminster tied the game, 2-2, in the bottom of the third after freshman Cassandra Patterson (Navarre, OH / Tuslaw) scored senior Erika Pamer (Beaver Falls, PA / Beaver Falls) with a sacrifice fly. In the sixth inning, Westminster scored the eventual game-winning run after Balko batted in Guard with a sacrifice fly to left field. Hiram threatened in its last at-bat in the top of the seventh inning with runners on second and third base with two outs. However, an ankle-high catch by Titan freshman right fielder Francesca Nardone (Ellwood City, PA / Lincoln) sealed the victory.

Titan sophomore Amber Forrest (Clear Spring, MD / Clear Spring) got the win and improved to 4-1. Forrest pitched a complete game and gave up two runs off five hits, while striking out one batter and walking four.

Westminster will host Pitt-Bradford tomorrow in a non-conference doubleheader. First pitch is slated for 1 p.m.

About Westminster College...
Founded in 1852 and related to the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), Westminster College ranks first in the nation as "Best College for Women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math," according to Westminster is a top-tier liberal arts college and a national leader in graduation rate performance, according to U.S. News Best Colleges guide. Westminster is also honored as one of "The Best 378 Colleges" by The Princeton Review, and is named to the President's Honor Roll for excellence in service learning.

Nearly 1,600 undergraduate and graduate students benefit from individualized attention from dedicated faculty while choosing from 41 majors and nearly 100 organizations on the New Wilmington, Pa., campus. Visit to view "Advantage: Westminster" A Strategic Plan 2010-2020.

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