MOUNT UNION - The power that Mount Union has displayed this season is something that every coach fears.
For No. 10 seed Westmont-Hilltop, those fears became reality Thursday in the District 6 Class AA first round game against the Trojans.
The Hilltoppers were hanging on by a run heading into the third, when the big bats came out for Mount Union. The Trojans scored seven runs in the third to pretty much seal an 11-1 win in five innings.
Seniors Taylor Miles and Megan Shugarts led off the home half of the third with back-to-back home runs en route to the big inning for the No. 7 seed Trojans.
"We've always been a team in which once we see a pitcher we're always better the second time through," Mount Union coach Matt Fiscus said. "Taylor stayed back and that one was rising when it hit the fence."
Aly Smith picked up the win for the Trojans, tossing five innings of four-hit softball. The only run to cross the plate was unearned.
Miles' long ball set the tone for the rest of the inning. A power shot to right center field gave way for the offensive surge. Shugarts' home run was much more majestic. The ball slowly creeped over the fence into the center field grass.
"We knew their No. 3 hitter (Miles)," Westmont-Hilltop coach John Grace said. "She hammered that one. We were okay with that, but the next one set the tone for that inning."
The Trojans capitalized on a few Hilltopper errors in the inning to plate the first seven batters in the inning. Lauren Shugarts plated a pair on an RBI single later in the inning and scored on a Miles ground out.
The Hilltoppers fought hard and were in good shape heading into the third. After Miles plated a run in the top of the first with a ground out, Westmont came right back to knot the game at one.
Alyssa Miller started the inning with a single back up the box. Three passed balls later Miller crossed home plate to tie the game.
Westmont's offense accounted for only four singles in the game and failed to get a runner past first base after Miller scored.
"We worked hard this week and tried to be aggressive," Grace said. "We knew the pitcher was going to throw some heat. We anticipated that and we wanted to be aggressive."
Smith was dialed in from the start. Although she didn't have her best stuff, according to Fiscus, she was able to work the Hilltopper hitters.
"Aly was hitting her spots. She didn't have quite the velocity she's capable of," Fiscus said. "She got the job done and made the pitches whenever she had to and kept them off balance."
Following the seven-run third inning, the Trojans were out to put the game away against relief pitcher Tori Parlock. Freshman Liza Feagley, who finished the game with a pair of hits, led off the inning with a single. A single from Abby Morder put runners on first and second.
Smith followed with a single that plated Feagley to make the count 10-1. Back-to-back fielder's choices from Marissa Dimoff and Chapin Guiliante set the stage for an RBI single from Kristin Miles to enforce the 10-run rule.
The Hilltoppers would get a single from Taylor Hoover to try and extend the game, but Smith shut the door and sealed the first-round win for Mount Union.
"We hit the whole way through the lineup," Fiscus said. "We were able to put some runs on the board to back Aly up."
Westmont finishes the season with a 9-8 mark. The Hilltoppers will return most of their lineup with a trio of seniors leaving by graduation.
Mount Union will host Penns Valley Monday. Penns Valley, the No. 15 seed in District 6, took down No. 2 seed Richland Thursday.