Softball 2013 Game Highlight

05/03/2013 - CACC Tournament #5 USciences

9 INN.

SUBJECT: Wilmington’s Record Breaking Season Comes to a Close On Day Two at the CACC Softball Tournament

The record breaking 2013 softball season came to a close on Friday as the third seeded Wilmington University team won an extra inning contest to advance to the last four standing, but ran out of gas in the fourth round of the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference hosted by Georgian Court.

Shelby Thompson was hit by a pitch in the bottom of the ninth with the bases loaded to give the Wildcats (34-20 overall) a 1-0 victory over fifth seed University of the Sciences in the day’s first game. The win advanced the Wildcats to another elimination game against fourth seed and host Georgian Court, but Wilmington ran out of steam, falling 7-0 to cap its season.

The 34 wins are the most ever by a Wilmington softball team since the University joined the NCAA ranks prior to the 2005 season. The 19 CACC wins in the regular season set a new mark in program history. Jillian Stafford set a new single season record with 51 runs batted in. Brook Ash set a new Wilmington single season record with 83 hits, which also breaks the CACC single season mark (Georgian Court’s Dara Schroeder has 77 and is still playing). Ash also set a new Wilmington single season mark with 44 runs this year. Ash also set a new Wilmington single season mark by finishing with a .449 batting average. And Katie Warrington tied her own Wilmington single season record with 230 strikeouts, just to name a few.

The Wildcats were outhit in the day’s first game by the Devils, 6-5, but had more runners on base throughout the game, leaving eight stranded. Rachel Painter went 2-for-3 in the contest while Cambria Ziemba, Christin Headley, and Skye Boris rounded out the team’s five hits with one a piece. But it was a hit-by-pitch that provided the game’s only run.

Into their second frame of extra innings, the Wildcats rally started with a one out error by the Devils’ second baseman. Boris followed with a single to left center to put Stafford on second base. After Brooke Berger hit a deep fly ball to center field, deep enough to move Stafford up to third base, the Devils opted to bring in reliever Cassie Lapotsky. Painter worked a walk to load the bases with two outs and bring up Thompson. Looking for a pitch to drive in a 3-1 count, Thompson instead couldn’t get out of the way from a high and tight pitch, getting hit in the arm to force in the winning run.

The score was nearly broken wide open in the top of the ninth, but a great defensive play by Meghan Logullo in left field kept the Devils off the scoreboard. With one out and runners on second and third, Lou Anastasio hit a downward spinning fly ball to short left. Logullo came racing towards the ball and made a last second shoestring catch, keeping the runner at third base. The ball came into the infield quickly and Berger made a snap throw to second as the runner wandered too far off the bag for the inning ending double play. It wasn’t the only impressive play Logullo made in left throughout the CACC Tournament.

The win moved the Wildcats into another elimination game immediately following the walk-off win against fourth seeded Georgian Court.

Worn down and with the pitching depleted, the Wildcats fell behind after the top of the first inning and could never recover. The Lions scored two in the top of the first and never looked back.

The Wildcats only managed five hits in Friday’s second game, two of which came off the bat of Thompson. Ash, Headley, and Boris collected the other three hits in the contest. Wilmington put a runner in scoring position in only three innings, never getting a runner over to third in the ball game.

Stafford picked up both decisions in the circle on Friday, moving her record to 6-4 on the year and lowering her earned run average to fewer than three at 2.90.

It is the third time since 2005 the Wildcats won two games in the CACC Tournament, also going 2-2 in the 2007 and 20011 tournaments. Wilmington is now 7-14 overall in seven CACC Tournaments.

Friday was the final action for six seniors on the Wildcats squad, as Berger, Boris, Headley, Stafford, Thompson, and Katie Warrington played their final games while donning the Green and White. The six players played integral parts in building a solid foundation for the Wildcats for future teams.  

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