CALIFORNIA – The California University women’s softball team will have to win three games today to advance in the NCAA Division II tournament.
California (36-6), the top-seeded team in the Atlantic Regional, lost its only game Saturday in the subregional being played at Lilley Field and fell to the losers’ brackets of the double-elimination tournament. The Vulcans were defeated, 6-3, by fourth-seeded West Chester.
Cal was to play an elimination game against Bloomsburg (28-18) Saturday evening but that was rained out and rescheduled for noon today. If California wins, the Vulcans must defeat West Chester (38-19) twice, at 2:30 and 5 p.m., to advance.
West Chester is the only unbeaten team in the subregional. The Rams used a pair of two-run innings to build an early lead against Cal, and winning pitcher Kim Murl threw a six-hitter and helped her cause by hitting a two-run homer in the first inning.
Jessica Schuck and Jillian Murray added solo home runs, in the fifth and sixth innings, for West Chester.
After trailing 4-0, Cal scored two runs in the fourth on a home run by Breanna Morris. West Chester pushed its lead to 6-2 before the Vulcans scored in the seventh when Natalie Wideman raced home on a sacrifice fly by Lindsay Reicoff.
California is in a similar situation as last weekend at the PSAC tournament, when the Vulcans lost to Shippensburg in the winners’ bracket final, then had to win three times on the final day of the tournament to garner the championship.