SALEM, Va. -- Kim Murl registered a pair of hits and threw a complete-game inside the circle to lead West Chester to a 6-2 victory against LIU Post in an elimination game at the 2014 NCAA Division II Championship at the James I. Moyer Complex on Saturday afternoon.
"It's another first for this team," WCU head coach Diane Lokey said in the postgame news conference. "We had 70 percent quality at-bats. So, we are happy about that. And we played some pretty good defense that got us out of some jams."LIU Post (50-11) left 12 runners on base, including the bases loaded twice, and committed three errors that allowed two unearned runs to cross. West Chester (42-21) made the Pioneers pay for their mistakes during a four-run third that helped the Golden Rams open up a 6-0 lead.
"We left too many runners on base," LIU Post head coach Jamie Apicella said. "We hit the ball all tournament. We just didn't get the timely hitting. [West Chester] capitalized on some early miscues, and we were basically trying to catch up for almost seven innings."
LIU Post loaded the bases on Murl in the top of the second inning with nobody out. However, a 1-2-3 double play started on a comebacker to Murl, followed by another routine grounder back to the circle, killed that threat.
"That was a huge momentum shift for us," Lokey said about escaping the bases-loaded jam without allowing any runs. "We used that to roll right into our half of the inning."
The Golden Rams struck first with two runs in their half of the second, then plated four more in the third and left the rest up to Murl and her right arm.
Murl doubled to lead off the second-inning rally, and Laura Altenburger sacrificed pinch runner Janessa Rios over to third. After, Jill Murray walked, Erin Quense hit a sacrifice fly that scored Rios. Murray would later score on a fielding error by the Pioneers' second baseman.
Kelly Anderson singled to lead off the third, and Jess Schuck walked. That chased LIU Post starter Liz Weber (25-5). Murl greeted reliever Ashley Martin with a single up the middle. Sarah Walasavage, who came on to run for Anderson, scored when the Pioneers' left fielder made an errant throw back into the infield and the ball rolled to the backstop.
Shannon Gray, running for Schuck, later scored on a throwing error by LIU Post's third baseman. When the dust had settled, the Rams had scored four runs on three hits, taking advantage of a pair of errors by the Pioneers, to score two unearned runs.
LIU Post recorded single tallies in the fifth and sixth innings, but could not get any more out of another bases-loaded situation in the sixth.
Murl equaled the school single-season record for wins with her 24th victory of the year. She allowed two runs, only one earned, on 10 hits. She struck out four and walked just one. Meanwhile, Murl went 2-for-3 at the plate with a walk.
Altenburger finished 2-for-2 with a walk as well. She also had a sacrifice. Anderson, Murray and Quense each registered a hit.
Weber lasted two innings for LIU Post, surrendering four runs on two hits while walking three. She did not strike out a batter. Only two of her four runs were earned. Martin went the rest of the way for the Pioneers, scattering five hits in four innings and allowing two earned runs. She walked three and struck out one.