Day 3: Defense Continues to Hinder Wilmington Softball as Wildcats Fall to Gannon and Florida Southern in Florida
SB: WU 1 - Gannon 7; WU 0 - Southern Florida 8
Monday, February 27, 2012 - Clermont, Fla.
Click Image to Enlarge
Sophomore Christin Headley
The defensive side of the ball always seems to be the last piece that comes together for a northern team starting a brand new spring season as it is more tough to practice on a natural surface early in the season.
The has rang true for the Wilmington University softball team thus far on its 23-game Florida trip as errors again hurt the Wildcats on day three of the trip, leading to a 7-1 loss to Gannon in the morning and an 8-0 loss to Florida Southern in the second game of the doubleheader.
Wilmington (1-4) cut the deficit to 2-1 with a two-out run in the sixth, but three errors led to five Gannon (1-1) unearned runs in the top of the seventh to break the game open.
Christin Headley hit her first triple of the young season to right center with one out in top of the sixth to get things started for the Wildcats. A speedy Shelby Thompson ran out an infield single to third before stealing second to put runners on second and third with one out. Brooke Berger then fouled out to left field, but deep enough for the sacrifice fly to score Headley and allow Thompson to move up to third. But that would be all the ‘Cats would get in the inning as Golden Knight’s starter Erica Bartholow induced an inning ending ground out to the next batter.
The top of the seventh started off in the wrong direction for the Wildcats as the leadoff batter got on by a fielding error by Berger at third, but Wilmington starting pitcher Katie Warrington got the next two batters out. The Golden Knights responded with a walk and an infield single to load the bases. Warrington got a groundball in the next at-bat, but an error allowed two more runs to come home while another fielding error two batters later allowed two additional runs to cross home plate.
After Chelsea Botsch replaced Warrington, Caitlyn Colucci singled up the middle, driving in the final run and closing the book on Warrington. With the loss, Warrington dropped to 1-2 on the year, as she allowed seven runs (one earned) on eight hits over 6.2 innings pitched. She also struck out six batters.
Headley and Thompson led the offensive attack while each going 2-for-3. Rachel Painter accounted for the other hit for the Wildcats, as she went 1-for-3 in the day’s first game.
Florida Southern has played twice as many games as the Wildcats in the early going, and came out firing in the opening three frames against Botsch. The Moccasins used 12 hits to score eight runs, scoring five of them in the second and third innings alone.
Botsch fell to 0-2 on the year, giving up five runs on seven hits in four innings of action in the circle. Danielle Griffin pitched the remaining 1.1 innings, allowing three runs (one earned) on five hits while striking out two batters.
Headley and Thompson each went 1-for-3 on the afternoon while Jillian Stafford batted 1-for-2, as Florida Southern starter Christine Clark (5-1) threw five scoreless innings to earn the victory.
Florida Southern’s Randi Grimes hit 3-for-4 with a solo shot in the fifth, knocking in two runs and scoring two more to lead the Mocs.
The Wildcats will get another crack at Gannon on Tuesday, as they prepare for their fourth straight day of action at the National Training Center. They will square off against the Golden Knights at 11 a.m. before playing the University of Mary at 1 p.m.