Day 6: Seventh Inning Comeback, Stafford’s Home Run not Enough for Wilmington Softball Doubleheader
SB: WU 3 - Saint Anselm 6, 8 inn.; WU 2 - Mary 4
Thursday, March 1, 2012 - Clermont, Fla.
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Junior pitcher Katie Warrington versus Saint Anselm
Junior Jillian Stafford touching home after her home run versus Mary
The Wilmington University softball team continued its nonconference run at the National Training Center, forcing extra innings in game-one and getting its first home run of the season in game-two, but dropped a doubleheader to Saint Anselm, 6-3, and Mary, 4-2, on Thursday.
In the first game of the day, the Wildcats (1-8) used a seventh inning rally to force extra innings, but Saint Anselm responded with five runs in the top of the eighth to retake the lead. Wilmington attempted its second rally is as many innings, but could only get two runs across before succumbing to the Hawks.
Trailing 1-0 heading into their final at-bat, the Wildcats got a leadoff single from Christin Headley to begin the rally. After Headley swiped second base clean, Brooke Berger advanced her to third on a ground out. Jillian Stafford knotted the game up the next at-bat with a run scoring single. The Wildcats had a chance to end in regulation with runners on first and second after Rachel Painter worked a two-out walk. But the Hawks (4-4) made a move in the circle and brought in Paige Cormier who got out of the jam with an inning ending strikeout.
Katie Warrington, who collected nine more strikeouts during the game, started the eighth with a runner on second per the international extra-innings rule. Warrington got the first out on a sacrifice bunt, but two batters later allowed Lauren Galavotti to hit a fly ball deep enough to score the runner from third for the go-ahead run. The hawks added four more runs in the fram, setting up the win.
The Wildcats’ comeback fell short in the bottom half of the inning, but made enough noise to make it interesting. With Kayla Carrow placed at second base to start the innings, Meghan Logullo singles to put runners on first and third. Two batters later, Jessica Hassman grounded out to short, but scored Carrow from third. During the next at-bat, Logullo came home to score on a passed ball to pull within three runs. Headley and Berger kept the inning alive with back-to-back singles to put runners on first and second and bring the tying run to the plate. But Cormier was able to finagle her way out of her second jam in as many innings for the win.
Headley finished 2-for-4 while Shelby Thompson, Berger, Stafford, and Logullo accounted for the teams other four hits. Warrington pitched 7.2 innings, allowing six runs (one earned) on seven hits before giving way to Danielle Griffin who pitched the final out of the eighth.
Griffin returned to the circle to start the second game of the day as the Wildcats squared off against the University of Mary.
Mary took its first lead of the game in the second inning, as Brittney Hadley hit a solo shot to right center off Griffin to open the scoring. But the Wildcats quickly responded in the bottom half of the inning to take the lead with one swing of the bat. Berger led off the inning with a walk, followed immediately by Stafford’s two-run shot to left center to make it a 2-1 ball game in the second.
The Marauders (6-6) responded just as fast, however, in the next half inning. With two outs and a runner on first, Mary connected with a single and back-to-back doubles to score three runs and retake the lead.
Chelsea Botsch was inserted into the circle to start the fourth inning and only allowed one runner to reach base. She struck out eight batters over the next four innings, shutting down the Marauder attack.
Wilmington’s best opportunity came in the bottom of the seventh inning as they continued to face a tiring Erin Keen. Berger worked a leadoff walk before Stafford also worked a walk to put runners on first and second and no outs. Kinsley Parker advanced the runners 60 feet with a sacrifice bunt and two batters later Carrow loaded the bases with another walk, putting the winning run on first base. But Keen buckled down and got Logullo to ground out, ending the rally and the game.
Stafford’s home run was the lone hit for the Wildcats and was the first home run of the season for the team. Griffin pitched three innings giving up four runs on four hits with two strikeouts before handing it over to Botsch.
Keen threw all seven innings for Mary, striking out nine batters, but allowing six walks on the afternoon. Both runs off Keen were earned.
The Wildcats will see a familiar face tomorrow, as they continue their 23-game trip in Florida. They will square off against West Virginia Wesleyan at 1 p.m. before battling conference foe Dominican in a nonconference matchup at 5 p.m.