YOUNGWOOD, Pa. - After throwing a complete game shutout in a 10-0 game-one win, Hope Hixson threw three shutout frames to earn the save in a 5-3 victory in the second game as the Westmoreland County Community College softball swept WPCC rival Garrett Tuesday.
The Wolfpack scored at least two runs in each of the first four innings to pull away for the 10-0 victory in the opener that was stopped after five innings. After plating two in the opening inning, Westmoreland struck for three more in the second, all with two outs. The rally started when Hannah Hempfield walked, stole second, took third on a throwing error and scored on a wild pitch. The inning also saw Chelsi Bartlow knock in one run with a single and Chelsey Frock picked up an RBI when she was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded to extend the margin to 5-0.
Westmoreland doubled their lead over the next two innings. In a three-run third inning, Alexis McKnight belted a two-run single and in the fourth, Julia Jumper and Hixson had RBI singles to swell the Wolfpack lead to 10-0.
That was plenty of support for Hixson, who made it three straight shutouts by blanking the Lakers. Garrett managed to put runners on in each of the first three innings, but Hixson, who held CCAC-South scoreless in both games Saturday, settled in and retired the final seven batters to close out the win.
The second game had a far different beginning, as the Lakers struck first with three runs in the top of the first. Westmoreland did answer right back with three runs in the last of the inning to draw even at 3-3. After a scoreless second inning, Westmoreland took the lead for good in the third. After Brianna McCulley reached and raced to third on a wild pitch, she scored on an RBI double by Frock. The fifth run came in when Sam Poklembo singled in Frock and the Westmoreland lead stood at 5-3.
The fourth inning saw Garrett threaten to put runs on the board but a remarkable defensive play prevented the Lakers from scoring. They loaded the bases with no outs, but the next batter smashed a line drive caught by Hixson at shortstop. She immediately threw to McKnight at first base for the second out and Mcknight threw across to McCulley at third base to complete the rare 6-3-5 triple play and preserve the Westmoreland lead.
Bartlow started in the circle and bounced back from the first inning to throw three scoreless frames to earn the win. Hixson came in to pitch and retired the Lakers in order in the fifth and sixth innings. Garrett had one runner reach in the seventh inning, but Hixson got a tapper back to her for the final out to complete the 5-3 win and the sweep.
Now with a 6-2 overall record and 4-0 mark in the WPCC, Westmoreland will be back on the diamond Sunday when they travel to Penn State-Fayette for a non-conference doubleheader.