Softball falls one run short of three-peat

The Waynesburg University softball team competed in the 2023-24 PAC Tournament this past week and fell one game short of winning their third consecutive conference championship.

The yellow jackets came into the tournament 23-18 overall, notching a 10-10 record in conference and the number six seed. 

The past two seasons, the yellow jackets have had a combined loss total of 21, so finishing the season with 18 was something that didn’t sit well with the team. 

“Our season did not go the way we planned,” second baseman Grace Higgins said. “We almost didn’t make the playoffs; however, we fought and landed a spot in the sixth seed.”

Despite the struggles shown throughout the year, Higgins said they did not let the season define them. 

“We knew that wasn’t where we belonged, but we didn’t care,” she said. “We played the best we ever had in the tournament and although we didn’t win the championship, it still shows we never gave up.” 

Waynesburg started off hot by winning their first two games on Thursday, defeating number three seeded Geneva and two seeded Allegheny. In those two games, Waynesburg scored a total of 12 runs. They would then receive their first loss to Westminster on Friday, 7-4. 

Waynesburg went on to defeat Allegheny again to help advance them into the PAC Championship series against Westminster. This would the third straight year it would be the titans and yellow jackets facing off for the PAC Championship. The yellow jackets defeated the titans in game one that went into 11 innings, winning 5-2 and giving Westminster their first loss of the tournamen, forcing game three between the two. 

The game was scoreless heading into the bottom of the seventh inning with Waynesburg out-hitting the Titans eight to two at that point. However, the Titans would bring in the runner from third, winning the PAC Championship. 

Ella Brookamn, Trinity Edge and Higgins were all named to the PAC Tournament team. 

“It means a lot,” Higgins said. “We work hard and to get the award like that shows the hard work that we put in.” 

Higgins also set the new single-season record with 52 hits this season. 

Brookman this season has herself in the top five in the program in seven different categories, one of which being leading them in doubles and triples. 

“It is truly amazing,” Brookamn said. “I have worked so hard on and off the field on my hitting, and to see my success has shown me that my hard work has paid off.” 

Brookman gives the thanks not just to herself but the people in her life. 

“I wouldn’t be able to do it without the support of my family, coaches and all of my teammates. I am going to miss playing softball.” 

On May 7, three days after the tournament concluded the PAC named all the players to the All-PAC teams, pitcher Sydney Wilson was named to the first team, Edge and Higgins were named to the second team and shortstop Kayla Gratton was an honorable mention.