QUAKER TOWN – Natalie Wideman hit a go-ahead home run in the sixth inning, the key run in helping the California University women’s softball team win its first Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference Championship since 2000 with a 4-3 win over Shippensburg Saturday afternoon at Veterans Park.
Cal rallied for each of its three wins, including a walkoff two-run home run by sophomore Lindsay Reicoff that gave the Vulcans a 5-4 win over Shippensburg to force a winner-take-all final game.
Cal earned its spot in the title game with a walk-off single by senior third baseman Shelby Lia to propel the team to a 3-2 win over Indiana
Cal improved to 35-3 and earned the automatic qualifier berth from the conference for the NCAA Tournament.
Shippensburg falls to 34-15.
In the second game of the championship series against Shippensburg and the score tied, 3-3, in the bottom of the sixth, Wideman hit the game-winning solo home run.
Shippensburg jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the first inning, but Cal evened the score when Wideman led off the bottom half with a single and scored when Lia connected for an RBI single.
The Raiders took a 2-1 lead in the second inning with a home run by Jesse Trammell. The Vulcans rallied for a pair of runs in the third inning with timely hitting to take a 3-2 lead. Freshman left fielder Kaity Finley smacked a two-out RBI double then scored when sophomore second baseman Erica Vallecorsa delivered a two-out RBI base-hit of her own.
Shippensburg tied the game in the fifth with a double by Kirsten McClune and a wild pitch. The game was then delayed by lightning. After the delay, Hillary Lyons singled in McClune.
Alex Sagl earned the win, tossing 2 2/3 innings of relief and held the Raiders to four hits. and struck out four.
Wideman and Vallecorsa each had three hits and one RBI, with Wideman delivering the game-winning home run and two runs scored. Lia went 2-for-4 with an RBI and a run scored.
In the first game of the PSAC Championship, Cal rallied for four-unanswered runs, including a walk-off two-run home run by Reicoff, to earn a 5-4 win and force a second game for the PSAC Championship.
Sagl earned the win after pitching three innings of shutout ball in relief. She held the Raiders to one hit and struck out two. Shippensburg pitcher Emily Estep (23-3), who entered the PSAC Tournament as the league leader in wins and ERA, was saddled with the loss. She allowed five runs on nine hits and struck out six in 6.1 innings pitched.