Softball 2014 Game Highlight
05/02/2014 - CACC Tournament #1 Caldwell
SUBJECT: Fifth Seeded Wilmington Softball Defeats Holy Family and No. 8 Caldwell on First Day of CACC Tournament
For the first time in program history the Wilmington University softball team capture two wins to start the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference Tournament, as the fifth seeded Wildcats defeated No. 4 Holy Family, 4-2, and No. 1 Caldwell, 6-3, on Friday afternoon at Georgian Court University.
The Wildcats (26-24 overall) advance in the winners’ bracket to play the third seeded Post University Eagles on Saturday at 1 p.m.
Wilmington earned the fifth seed by going 16-10 in the CACC during the regular season and squared off against No. 4 Holy Family in the first round on Friday.
The Wildcats used early runs in each contest to gain momentum, but it was a big blast from Colby Wyatt that kick started things in the day’s first game. Kelsey Doherty started the game off with a single through the left side before stealing second to stand in scoring position with no outs in the inning. Cambria Ziemba was unable to move Doherty over to third, but it wasn’t necessary as Wyatt deposited a 0-1 pitch over the fence in right center for the quick 2-0 lead.
With two outs in the second inning, Becca Stanley started her hot afternoon with an RBI triple off the fence in left center, scoring Michelle Panasiti from first.
Those three runs in the first two innings was more than enough for senior starting pitcher Stephanie Sarris. The Tigers (26-15 overall) got a pair of two out runs in the third inning, but Sarris only allowed three more hits the rest of the game to shut down the Holy Family offense.
Sarris received some help from her defense in the fourth inning, after Kelsi Bunda singled to left with one out in the inning for the Tigers. Charging hard on a short fly ball, centerfielder Meghan Logullo came sliding in and caught the ball at the last second before throwing to first for the inning-ending double play.
Savvy baserunning earned the Wildcats an insurance run in the sixth as Shannon McMahon took too bags on a sacrifice bunt, moving first to third. Jen Fischbach followed with an RBI single up the middle to bring home McMahon to make it 4-2.
Sarris closed out the victory with a 1-2-3 inning in the seventh, giving the Wildcats its first upset of the afternoon.
Facing the NFCA’s eighth ranked team in the country in the winner’s bracket, the Wildcats took the first swing in the top of the first, putting Caldwell on its heels early.
The Wildcats put three on the board in the first inning, all with two outs and the bases empty. Wyatt started the rally with a double to left center before a walk and a Logullo single loaded the bases. Attempting to check swing, Fischbach was hit by a pitch instead, forcing in the game’s first run. Miranda Pedersen then sent a ball deep in the gap in right center, scoring both Bennett and Logullo for a 3-0 lead.
Caldwell responded by loading the bases in the bottom of the first, but Sarris picked up a strikeout and a ground out to get out of the jam.
The Wildcats left the bases loaded in the second but capitalized with the bases loaded again in the top of the third.
Before they were able to get runners on base, however, Fischbach led off the inning with a solo dinger to right center. Stanley started the rally again with a single down the left field line before singles from Doherty and Ziemba loaded the bases. Wyatt came through once again, making it four straight singles with two outs to score another run in the third and give the visitors a 5-0 lead.
The Cougars got on the boar with a two-run shot from Alyssa Calderon, bringing the Wildcats back to Earth and making it a game once more, 5-2.
A fifth inning solo homer from Brielle Reighn closed the gap to 5-3 for the Cougars, but that would be all the favored team would get as Sarris continued to bend but not break.
Stanley capped her day by giving the Wildcats an insurance run in the top of the seventh. Leading off the frame, Stanley sent a ball over the fence in left field for her first homer of her career to put the Wildcats ahead, 6-3.
Caldwell had a one-out runner reach first, but Sarris induced a grounder to Doherty for the second out before getting Calderon to fly out to Stanley in left for the game-ender.
Wyatt led the offense by going 5-for-9 on the day, hitting her second homer of the season and adding a double to knock in three runs on the day. Ziemba batted 5-for-9 on the day as well. Stanley hit a triple and a homer, going 4-for-7 for the day with two RBIs.
Sarris went 2-0 on the day, throwing all 14 innings. She struck out five batters in each game, allowing seven hits in each contest as well.
Elimination games begin at 11 a.m. at Georgian Court on Saturday before the Wildcats and Eagles play at 1 p.m. The Eagles defeated No. 6 Dominican, 3-2, and No. 2 Georgian Court, 2-1, to reach Saturday’s winner’s bracket game.
Links for Saturday’s action can be found on the CACC Tournament Homepage.