PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — An outstanding season is set to continue for the West Chester University softball team.
The Golden Rams are the #1-seed in the Atlantic Region of the Division II NCAA Tournament and they will open play on Thursday, taking on Chowan University. The regional features four teams in a double-elimination format. Joining West Chester and Chowan in this regional will be the host school, UVA-Wise and Shepherd. The winner of the regional will advance to the super regionals.
West Chester won the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference title and the Golden Rams sit at 44-10 as they prepare for their fourth straight NCAA Tournament appearance.
“I had a very good feeling (coming into the season),” West Chester head coach Diane Lokey tells KYW Newsradio. “We pretty much only lost two seniors from last year, so it’s the same group that participated in the NCAA Tournament last year. We did not have a good experience (in last year’s tournament), so they are feeding off that the entire past year of just getting back to this point. So we are excited about playing again this year.”
Listen to the entire interview with West Chester head coach Diane Lokey
Last year the Golden Rams did not make it out of the regional, losing two of three games.
West Chester is hitting .316 as a team and the Golden Rams average about 5 1/2 runs a game. On the mound, Amanda Houck is the ace with a record of 31-3 and a 1.13 ERA.
Lokey talks about keys to success in the tournament for her group.
“We’ll need to have good pitching performances from Amanda,” she says. “We’ll have to play strong defense behind her and we need the bats to stay how they were in the conference tournament. We need everybody from 1 to 9 to contribute in some way, offensively.”
West Chester and Chowan get underway at 7:30pm on Thursday.