GREENSBURG, Pa. - The Westmoreland County Community College softball team rallied from 5-1 and 8-4 deficits, as the Wolfpack scored the final eight runs in the game for a 12-8 come-from-behind victory over Butler County Community College and win the 2019 WPCC Tournament Championship Saturday afternoon, which was held at Seton Hill University.
The scoring started right away in the contest, as Butler pushed a run across in the top of the first. Westmoreland answered back to tie the game in the bottom of the inning after Hannah Hempfield bunted for a single, went all the way to third on a sacrifice bunt and dashed home on a sharply hit ground ball by Megan Monzo. The Pioneers would retake the lead by scoring four times in the second inning to take their first four-run lead of the day. After the Wolfpack were held scoreless in the second, they chipped into the Butler lead in the third with three runs, with the big hit being a two-run single by Brianna McCulley.
The Westmoreland deficit grew back to four runs in the next inning, as Butler struck for three to extend their lead to 8-4. But that would the last score of the game for the Pioneers and the Wolfpack bats went to work. In the bottom of the fourth, Hempfield's speed again generated a run. She beat out an infield hit, stole second and scored on an RBI single by Chelsi Bartlow to make it an 8-5 Butler lead.
The Wolfpack would tie the game in the fifth inning with some big hits from the bottom of the order. The first run came across on an RBI single by Sam Poklembo and the game was tied after Emily Oswald brought in two runs with a double to right field to even the score at 8-8. Then in the sixth, Westmoreland took the lead for good. After loading the bases with one out, Chelsey Frock's RBI single to right field brought in the go-ahead run. She was followed by Hope Hixson lacing a three-run triple to left field to make it a 12-8 advantage and the Wolfpack were three outs away from the title.
In the top of the seventh, Bartlow made the lead stand. After the leadoff batter reached, she retired the next three and the Wolfpack clinched their third WPCC title overall and first championship since 2007. Bartlow earned the win after entering the game in relief in the third inning and limited Butler to three runs, but none over the final three innings.
After the game, in addition to receiving the WPCC trophy, five Wolfpack players were presented with All-Conference awards for their play during the year. They included McCulley, Alexis McKnight, Hixson, Frock and Monzo.
The season is not over yet for the Wolfpack. Their next scheduled action is Tuesday, April 30 on the road against Geneva College's JV program. But due to no other teams declaring for the Region XX Tournament, which Westmoreland was scheduled to host next weekend, the Wolfpack now advance to the District Tournament as the Region XX representative. That best-of-three series will take place May 11-12 against the winner of the Region 15/21 tournament next weekend.