Day 4: Softball Falls Short in a Pair of Pitchers’ Duels to Gannon and University of Mary
SB: WU 0 - Gannon 1; WU 1 - Mary 2
Tuesday, February 28, 2012 - Clermont, Fla.
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Freshman pitcher Chelsea Botsch
The Wilmington University softball team continued its two-week nonconference schedule in Florida Tuesday afternoon, this time dropping a pair of pitchers dual at the National Training Center. The Wildcats fell 1-0 to Gannon in the morning and 2-1 to University of Mary in the nightcap.
Chelsea Botsch and Katie Warrington each controlled their respective games form inside the circle, but the Wildcats (1-6) didn’t get the key hit when the team needed it most in either game.
Wilmington ran into a buzz saw that was Megan Dragon in the first game of the day against Gannon (3-2). Seeing the Golden Knights for the second time in two days, the Wildcats had the same issue with two different pitchers. Dragon hurled a complete game four hitter, striking out 12 Wildcat batters to earn the victory.
Botsch more than held her own against Dragon, striking out seven batters in 5.2 innings pitched before giving way to Warrington for the last out in the sixth.
Botsch made one mistake on the day, and it cost her severely. The freshman gave up a one out single in the bottom of the sixth to give the Golden Knights momentum late in the game. After Botsch got the second out and the runner still 180 feet from home plate, pinch hitter Katie Killian smashed a two-out triple, scoring the lone run of the game.
Needing a run to extend the game in the top of the seventh the Jillian Stafford hit a two-out double to put life back into the Wildcats. But the Golden Knight’s Dragon buckled down and got Rachel Painter swinging for the final out of the game.
Shelby Thompson was the lone Wildcat to get two hits off Dragon, as she finished 2-for-3 with a stolen base. Kinsley Parker and Stafford each went 1-for-3, each connecting for a double.
Warrington picked up right where she left off starting the second game, throwing all seven innings while only allowing four hits and striking out seven batters. But, just like Botsch, Warrington made one mistake, and it proved to be costly.
Setting the Marauders (5-6) down in order in the first and second inning, Warrington stumbled into trouble in the third frame.
University of Mary’s Sami Antolin started the inning with a leadoff single into right field. After Warrington settled down and got the next two batters out via a strike out and a fielder’s choice, the Marauders’ table setter Jenna Button homered down the left field line to give the away team a 2-0 lead. Warrington would get out of the inning without any further damage, and would not allow another run the rest of the game.
The Wildcats best chance came in the bottom of the fifth inning, as they scored one run and left two more runners on base. Stafford started the inning with a single into left field. Two outs later, now with Painter on first, Thompson worked a walk and Jessica Hassman singled into center, scoring Painter to make it 2-1. With runners on first and third and two outs, Christin Headley lined one to the right side, but right at the first baseman who snagged it to end the inning.
Wilmington would rally again in the seventh, as Painter got things started with a one out single into left field. But Mary starter Emily Sinclair got Kayla Carrow to fly out and Thompson to ground out to end the contest.
Warrington fell to 1-3 on the year while Sinclair picked up the win after giving up one run on five hits. She struck out five Wildcat batters in the complete game victory.
The Wildcats have a day off to enjoy the Florida sunshine, but get back to work on Thursday, March 1 when they square off against Saint Anselm College at 9 a.m. and get a second chance against Mary at 11 a.m.