Wildcats Earn Softball Split against CACC Second Place Caldwell, 1-3 and 4-3
SB: WU 1 - Caldwell 3; WU 4 - Caldwell 3
Monday, April 16, 2012 - Caldwell, N.J.
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Junior Katie Warrington struck out 10 in the game two victory over CaldwellSophomore Christin Headley hit her fifth home run of the year in game two MondayJunior Brooke Berger went 4-for-7 in the doubleheader on Monday
An unearned insurance run proved to be desirable as the Wilmington University softball team picked up another important split against a Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference leader, hanging on to take game two, 4-3, over second place Caldwell after dropping game one, 3-1, on Monday afternoon at Caldwell Field.
Wilmington (22-21, 14-6 CACC) held a 1-0 lead after the fourth inning in game one, but Caldwell (33-10, 19-3 CACC) scored three unanswered to take game one. The Wildcats were down 1-0 heading into the fourth inning in game two before scoring four unanswered to take a 4-1 lead. Caldwell responded with two runs in the seventh but left two runners on as the game ended.
Trailing 1-0 in game two, the offense came alive as Christin Headley walked to lead off the inning. She raced around the bags as the next batter, Jillian Stafford doubles to right center for the game-tying RBI. Kristin Garvin singled to put two runners on with two outs in the inning and Shelby Thompson extended the inning with her speed, inducing an error by the second baseman, allowing another run to come home.
Headley made it 3-1 in the fifth inning, bashing her fifth home run of the season over the wall in left with one out and the bases empty.
The fourth and most important run came with two outs and the bases empty in the top of the sixth. Amanda Crockett started the rally with a two-out single through the right side. Thompson was at it again with her speed, laying down a bunt to third and reaching on a throwing error. The throw went down the right field line, far enough away to allow Crockett to score all the way from first base to make it 4-1.
Game-two starter Katie Warrington cruised through the sixth inning, setting the Cougars down in order, striking out her eighth batter of the game to end the inning.
Warrington picked up two more strikeouts to start off the bottom of the seventh inning, but the Cougars did not go quietly. Katie Margiotti started the Caldwell rally with a triple to left-center and promptly made it 4-2 as Dia Cascone singled through the left side in the next at-bat. Kristen Knorr then hit a ground-rule double to left-center to put runners on second and third. Briana Gaspich legged out an infield single to shortstop, scoring the innings’ second run and cutting the Wildcat lead to 4-3.
The junior pitcher buckled down with the tying run at third base, getting Alyssa Calderon to fly out to center to end the threat and the ballgame.
Headley, Stafford and Kinsley Parker all picked up two hits apiece for the Wildcats while Berger, Garvin, and Crockett finished off the nine total hits for Wilmington.
Freshman Chelsea Botsch pitched another solid first game for the Wildcats, throwing all seven innings while picking up five strikeouts and giving up seven hits. The Wildcats etched out seven hits in the first game, but could only manage a single run in the top of the fourth.
The run came again with two outs and the bases empty. Parker started the rally with a double to left field. Botsch, hitting for herself in the seventh spot in the lineup, singled back up the middle and into centerfield, knocking in Parker who was off and running on contact.
Botsch shut down Caldwell in the important next half inning, allowing the offense to get back to work. But this time, the Wildcats could not get the big hit in the top of the fifth with two runners one. Berger and Headley reached on two-out singles, but were left stranded at first and second.
The Cougars then capitalized in the bottom of the fifth inning with two runs on three hits. Nicole Velardi singled to lead off the fifth and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt. Velardi came home to tie the game on a single back up the middle. Pinch runner Jessica Miller scored the eventual game-winner from second base as Margiotta put a pitch into center field.
Warrington improved to 13-7 on the year with the game two win while Botsch was saddled with the loss and fell to 5-7 in her first collegiate campaign.
Berger started the day with three hits in game one, finishing the doubleheader by going 4-for-7. Headley and Parker also added hits in game one, gathering three hits on the day.
Wilmington has now split series with the top two teams in the CACC, winning game two against Dominican and today against Caldwell. The Wildcats are now tied with Georgian Court in third place, both with equal 14-6 CACC records. The two teams will square off against either other on Thursday.
Prior to the CACC showdown with Georgian Court, the Wildcats will focus on Chestnut Hill. The Wildcats visit the Griffins tomorrow, Tuesday, in Philadelphia for a key CACC doubleheader. One win tomorrow will secure Wilmington a spot in the CACC Tournament at the end of the season.