Errors Harm Wildcats as Softball Drops CACC Doubleheader to Bloomfield
SB: WU 3 - Bloomfield 4; WU 1 - Bloomfield 9 (6 inn.)
Saturday, April 7, 2012 - New Castle, DE
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Junior Katie Warrington struck out 10 batters and gave up four unearned runs in game one
Junior Jillian Stafford went 2-for-4 with a double and two RBI's in game one
Junior Brooke Berger went 3-for-6 with two doubles on Saturday
For the first time in a three-week span where the Wilmington University softball team has been red-hot, the defense faltered as the Wildcats were swept by Bloomfield, 4-3 and 9-1, in a Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference doubleheader at Asbury Field on Saturday afternoon.
After a 13-game winning streak ended on Thursday, the Wildcats (17-18, 9-3 CACC) have now lost three straight and suffered their first conference sweep of the 2012 season. Bloomfield (20-13, 6-6 CACC) was able to capitalize on the Wilmington miscues and fight off a comeback bid by the home team in game one.
On a sunny but extremely windy afternoon that affected a number of balls in the air on the day, Wilmington committed three errors in the first two innings in the opening game, resulting in four unearned runs and putting the Wildcats down 4-0 heading into the third inning.
From there, starting pitcher Katie Warrington found the rhythm of the game and shut down the Bloomfield offense for the rest of the game. She only allowed two hits in the final five innings of work, keeping the Wildcats close with a chance to strike.
The Wildcat offense got its leadoff hitter on in the first and fourth innings but was unable get anything else going, stranding Shelby Thompson in the first and Christin Headley and Jillian Stafford on the bases in the fourth.
Headley started the sixth inning with a leadoff walk and the Wildcats had their first two runners on second and third with no outs in the inning. Jillian Stafford delivered a double to left field that scooted by the left fielder, easily scoring Headley and Kinsley Parker. Kristin Garvin walked to put two runners on with no outs again before Chelsea Botsch laid down a sacrifice bunt to put the tying run on second.
Amanda Crockett lofted a ball to left center that looked as though it would land, but Bloomfield left fielder Alexandria Smith came out of nowhere to make a sliding grab in the gap, only allowing one run to score on the sacrifice fly. Deacon starter Lindsey Ciresa got out of the inning, inducing Rachel Painter into an infield popup to end the threat and keep Bloomfield ahead 4-3.
After Warrington hurled a perfect seventh, Brooke Berger hit a one-out single up the middle to give the Wildcats life in their final at-bat. Parker got hit by a pitch to put the tying run on second, but reliever Smith got Stafford to just miss a pitch and pop it up to shortstop to end the game.
Botsch got the start in game two didn’t run into trouble until the third inning. Bloomfield’s number nine batter Brandi Bodin led off the top of the third with a triple and scored on a double by Smith for the game’s first run. Bloomfield scored another run in the inning by successfully executing a squeeze bunt play.
Wilmington cut the deficit in half, scoring its only run of the game in the bottom of the third inning. With two outs and the bases empty, Bergers started the rally with a double to the fence in center. Headley followed with a single to center to put runners on first and third.
Headley took off from first and stopped in the middle of the base path, drawing a throw from the catcher. As Headley scurried back and safely slid under the tag at first base, Berger trotted home to make it 2-1.
But that would be all the Wildcats would get, as the Deacons would score three runs in the third and tack on four more for the mercy rule win in six innings.
Berger batted 2-for-3 with two doubles in game two and hit 3-for-6 on the afternoon. Stafford finished 2-for-4 with two RBI’s in the game one while Thompson batted 2-for-7 in the doubleheader.
Wilmington will look to snap its three-game losing streak and get back in the win column on Tuesday, as they make up a doubleheader at Dominican. The Chargers are 14-0 in the CACC and 20-12 overall. Game one is schedule to start at 2:30 p.m.