NEW KENSINGTON, Pa. - After dropping the opening game in five innings, the Westmoreland County Community College softball team lost a heartbreaker in game two at Penn State-New Kensington Tuesday when the Lions scored in the bottom of the seventh to pull out a 7-6 decision and sweep the doubleheader.
Game one saw the Wolfpack post the first run on an RBI single by Maddie Lorince in the opening inning, but New Kensington took the lead in the bottom of the inning with three runs and continued to pull away for a 12-1 victory that was stopped after five innings. In addition to Lorince, Hannah Hempfield and Chelsi Bartlow both had singles for Westmoreland.
The second game was a back-and-forth contest to the end. The Wolfpack again scored first when Alexis McKnight hit an RBI single to score Hempfield in the first inning, but the Lions answered with a run to tie the game. Westmoreland regained the lead briefly in the third inning when Hope Hixson roped a double that brought in Hempfield, but New Kensington struck back for a pair of runs in the fourth to take a 3-2 advantage.
The teams continued to trade runs over the next couple innings. Hixson struck again with a two-run single in the fifth that lifted the Wolfpack to a 4-3 lead, only to be answered by a Lions' run in the bottom of the inning to tie the game. In the sixth, Brianna McCulley chased home two runs with a single to make it a 6-4 Westmoreland lead, but again the Lions came back with two of their own to even the score at 6-6 heading into the seventh inning.
In the final inning, Westmoreland managed to load the bases with two outs off two walks sandwiched around a McKnight single, but a ground out ended the inning. The Lions then struck for the game-winner in the seventh after a single, double and a fielder's choice couldn't get the runner at home to give New Kensington the 7-6 victory.
The Wolfpack finished the game with nine hits, led by Hixson with two hits and three RBIs, McCulley with a pair of hits and two RBIs and Mcknight with two singles and one run knocked in. Hempfield reached base twice with a single and a walk, scored twice and also stole a base.
Westmoreland is scheduled to return to the field Saturday when they host CCAC-South in a doubleheader to open WPCC play at 1 pm.