Day 2: Two Nationally Ranked Teams Get the Better of Wilmington Softball in Clermont, Fla.
SB: WU 0 - No. 25 Flagler 10; WU 0 - No. 24 Tampa 8
Sunday, February 26, 2012 - Clermont, Fla.
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Junior OF Shelby Thompson
Facing the toughest competition the team will face on its two-week stay in Clermont, Fla., the Wilmington University softball team dropped a doubleheader to a pair of nationally ranked teams, No. 25 Flagler College (10-0) and No. 24 University of Tampa (8-0), on Sunday afternoon at the National Training Center.
The Wildcats (1-2) hung with both national powerhouses during the games’ first four frames, but the opposition proved its mettle in the second half of the game during each contest.
Wilmington got seven hits against Flagler (15-4), but couldn’t get the key hit to produce any runs against the National Fastpitch Coaches Association’s 25th ranked team. The Wildcats stranded at least one runner on base in the first, third, fourth, sixth and seventh, including getting the leadoff batter on in three of the five innings.
Junior pitcher Katie Warrington had the Flagler lineup solved through the first four innings, only allowing one run while striking out five batters, but the defense fell apart behind her in the fifth committing five errors in the frame.
The Saints used six hits to score six runs in the top of the fifth, and was helped by the five Wilmington errors. Flagler also left two batters on base in the inning, and chased Warrington from the circle.
Jillian Stafford relieved Warrington in the fifth, and continued to pitch into the seventh before being replaced by Chelsea Botsch. Warrington threw 4.1 innings, giving up seven runs (two earned) on eight hits in the loss while Stafford gave up three runs in 2.1 innings. Botsch completed the seventh with a strikeout.
Shelby Thompson paced the offense with a 2-for-3 performance at the plate, while Christin Headley, Brooke Berger, Kristen Garvin, Meghan Logullo and Rachel Painter each added a hit.
The freshman Botsch got the nod in the circle for the second game against NFCA No. 24 Tampa (12-3) and more than held her own through the first four innings. She gave up two runs on five hits through four, but got touched for four runs (all unearned) on five hits in the fifth innings alone.
Danielle Griffin relieved Botsch after the fifth and gave up the remaining two runs (both unearned) in two thirds of an inning with one strikeout. Seven of the eight Tampa runs in the game were unearned on three Wildcat errors.
The offense could only muster two hits off Spartans’ starter Kayla Cox, as Cox earned her sixth win (6-1) of the season with the complete game shutout. She struck out 13 batters while allowing three walks.
Cox couldn’t solve Thompson however, as Thompson picked up both the Wildcat hits in game two. She singled through the left side in the first inning and again singled down the left field line in the fifth. Her second hit loaded the bases with two outs in the fifth, but Cox got out of the inning with a strikeout.
Wilmington returns to action with Day 3 of the two-week trip to Florida tomorrow, playing Gannon University at 9 a.m. and conclude the day’s play against Florida Southern at 11 a.m.