April 30 – LATROBE, Pa. – Having the ability to control their own playoff destiny, the Bethany College softball program earned a spot in the upcoming Presidents' Athletic Conference Championship Tournament by earning a split with Saint Vincent College on Saturday afternoon. The Bison won game one, 8-6, before dropping game two by a 9-3 score.
Needing just one victory to earn their way into the PAC playoffs, the Bison needed just one win to ensure a trip back to the conference championships for the third-consecutive season. The Green & White accomplished the feat by taking game one behind three home runs.
The host Bearcats got on the board first in the home half of the second inning on a throwing error, taking a 1-0 advantage.
Bethany would immediately respond in the top of the second inning. Ashlee Brill (Lancaster, Ohio/Lancaster) opened the frame with a single to right field, and was moved to second base on a sacrifice bunt by Kayla Kelly (Pasadena, Md./Institute of Notre Dame). Two batters later, Deanna Mihalco (Patterson, N.Y./Brewster) uncorked her second home run of the season, giving the Bison a 2-1 lead.
A Sarah Swettlen home run in the bottom of the third tied the game at 2-2, before the Bison flexed their offensive muscles in the top of the fourth inning.
The Green & White sent eight batters to the plate in the fourth inning, totaling five runs on a trio of hits. Brill doubled home Jasmine Fuqua (Washington, Pa./Trinity), putting runners on second and third with one out. The next batter was Kelly, who posted her third home run in a week, giving the Bison a 7-2 advantage.
Bethany would tack on one more run in top of the fifth as Ashley Narigon (Washington, Pa./McGuffey) joined in on the fun. Narigon roped her second home-run of the season, a solo shot to left field, increasing the lead to 8-2.
Saint Vincent would make the game interesting in the late stages, tallying a pair of runs in the fifth before scoring two more in the seventh. However, pitcher Cassie Weiss (Washington, Pa./McGuffey) would nail down her 18th complete-game of the season, giving the Bison the 8-6 win.
Offensively, the Bison were led by multi-hit games from Mihalco and Brill. Mihalco also added a home run and a pair of RBIs, while Kelly gave her team the boost with a three-run homer.
In game two, the host Bearcats pounded out 18 hits, which included a five-run fourth inning to hand the Bison a 9-3 loss and tying the two programs at 12-6 in the PAC standings.
Offensively in game two, Marissa Bosley (New Martinsville, W. Va./Magnolia) and Sarah Coss (Bowie, Md./Bishop McNamara) each notched a pair of hits, while Coss also adding two RBIs.
With all regular season PAC game having been played as of Saturday night, the Bison currently find themselves tied for third with Saint Vincent, two games clear of fifth-place Washington & Jefferson College. As such, the Bison will compete in the PAC Championship Tournament which will be held on Friday and Saturday, May 6 and 7, at Westminster College.