Warrington Tosses a No-Hitter, Wilmington Softball Walks-Off to Claim Sweep over Holy Family, 2-0 and 5-4
SB: WU 2 - Holy Family 0; WU 5 - Holy Family 4
Tuesday, March 27, 2012 - New Castle, DE
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Junior Katie Warrington threw a no-hitter with 11 strikeouts to take care of game oneFreshman Rachel Painter hit the game-winning, two-run single to take care of game twoSophomore Christin Headley tags out one of the two would be base stealers in game two
The Wilmington University softball waited 25 games to open their 2012 home schedule and the Wildcats did not disappoint their home crowd.
Two of the most exciting plays happened in one doubleheader as the Wildcats swept a Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference series from Holy Family, 2-0 and 5-4, on the backs of a no-hitter and a walk-off victory on Tuesday afternoon.
The omen goes that no one should even mention the word “no-hitter” while it is happening in fear of being the one to spoil the opportunity for the pitcher. Players, coaches, fans and bystanders have to become creative in finding a way to warn others of what is taking place on the diamond.
The Wildcats (12-15, 4-0 CACC) did not have to worry about breaking the code, because they didn’t know what was happening right in front of them themselves. As Warrington recorded the third and final out of the seventh inning, it seemed as though the Wildcats were only happy to end up with a third straight CACC victory. It wasn’t until sixth year head coach Erin Harvey shouted the significance of what just went on that the team picked up on it.
But for Warrington, it was just another day in the circle. The CACC leader in strikeouts and saves, second in ERA, and newly named CACC Pitcher of the Week on Tuesday, Warrington went about her business each inning and continued to mow down the Tiger batters.
The junior finished with a season high 11 strikeouts, but did allow four walks to allow Holy family to keep pressure on. The closest the Tigers would come to scoring was the first inning, as they got two runners on by an error and a walk with one out. But Warrington buckled down to record a strikeout and induce a ground ball to escape the inning.
Maybe what caused the Wildcats to not take notice of what was happening in their circle was that Holy Family (10-12, 4-4 CACC) starter Victoria Reuscher was just as successful on the rubber. She only allowed three hits, but it was her defense behind her that let her down.
The Wildcats got on the board with both runs in the third inning. Rachel Painter started the inning by reaching on a field error by the first baseman. Three batters later, Brooke Berger reached on a field error by the shortstop and Christin Headley walked to load the bases with two outs. Kinsley Parker came up with the big two-out hit, as she singled through the left side scoring both Warrington from third and Berger from second.
That would be more than enough for Warrington, as she improved to 6-6 with the win.
The second game of the double header was just as torturous yet excited for the fans, as they waited until the sixth inning for the home team’s bats to come alive. Trailing 4-0 heading into their final two at-bats, the Wildcats put three on the board in the sixth and finished the comeback with two runs in the seven for the walk-off win.
With the bases loaded and one out in the sixth, Amanda Crockett walked to force in a run and start the comeback. Rachel Painter made it a one-run game as she singled back up the middle, allowing Kristin Garvin and pinch runner Meghan Logullo, closing the gap to 4-3.
The Tigers threatened once again in the top half of the seventh but Chelsea Botsch got out of a one-out, two runners on jam with the help of her defense. Headley chased down a ball down the left field line in foul territory, making the basket catch for the second out. Then Botsch took care of the final out herself for her only strikeout of the afternoon.
Headley also started the rally in the bottom of the inning, as she lined a one-out double down the left field line to put the tying run in scoring position. Parker blooped one over the head of the second baseman and advanced to second as the ball squirted by the right fielder. Headley, who had to make sure the ball found the grass, advanced to third.
Jillian Stafford stepped in and took a 1-1 pitch and roped it over the head of the third baseman and down the left field line. Headley was able to score easily from third and Parker came racing through the stop sign at third looking for the winning run. The ball easily beat Parker to the plate, but Tiger’s catcher Deanna Myers took her eye off it briefly, dropping the ball as Parker slid home with the winning run.
Headley, Stafford and Jessica Hassman all finished with two hits in game two, as Painter picked up two RBI’s in the come-from-behind victory.
Botsch improved to 3-4 on the season with the win, as she did not allow a run in four innings out of the pen for the Wildcats. Starter Danielle Griffin through the first four innings, allowing four runs (two earned) on six hits.
With the two wins, the Wildcats extended their win streak to eight straight games and will have a chance to improve upon that on Saturday as they head to Dominican for another CACC doubleheader. Wilmington will also play at Caldwell in a pair of games on Sunday. Saturday’s doubleheader starts at 12 noon.