Hassman and Botsch Lead Softball to CACC Split at Georgian Court, Hold Steady in Third Place
SB: WU 5 - Georgian Court 2; WU 0 - Georgian Court 3
Thursday, April 19, 2012 - Lakewood, N.J.
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Senior Jess Hassman had three RBI's on a two-run home run and a single in game one
Freshman Chelsea Botsch evened her record to 7-7 with a game one win at Georgian Court
Junior Jill Stafford hit her fifth home run of the year, a two-run shot, in game one
The ninth position in the lineup, typically reserved for speed and on-base percentage, provided the pop for the Wilmington University softball team as Jess Hassman hit a two-run home run and had three RBI’s as the Wildcats split a Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference doubleheader with Georgian Court on Thursday at the GCU Softball Field.
Hassman and Jillian Stafford provided the offense in game one and Chelsea Botsch controlled the circle for the Wildcats (25-22, 17-7 CACC), as they took game one 5-2 before falling 3-0 in game two. Wilmington and Georgian Court (31-19, 17-7 CACC) remain tied for third place in the CACC standings, but Wilmington has defeated CACC leading Dominican and second place Caldwell once to hold the tie-breaker with one more series to play.
Hassman got the scoring started in the top of the second inning in the first game with two outs in the frame. With the bases empty, Danielle Griffin picked up her fourth hit in as many at-bats for the Wildcats, hitting a single back up the middle to start the two-out rally. Hassman stepped in and delivered her first home run of the season, depositing the pitch to left field for the 2-0 lead.
Botsch kept the Lions off balanced through the first three innings, facing the minimum in the first and third while striking out the final two batters in the second to leave two runs on. Pitching counterpart Brooke Hull changed the score with one swing of the bat in the fourth, as she hit a one-out solo shot to left field to cut the Wildcat lead in half, 2-1.
Hassman put the Wildcats back up two runs with another clutch two-out hit in the top of the sixth. With Botsch standing on second and two outs, Hassman singled back up the box, allowing Botsch to score from second for her third RBI of the game.
After the Lions again cut it to a one run game with another solo shot in the home half of the sixth, Wilmington put the game away in the top of the seventh, as they home run parade continued.
Christin Headley started the final inning with a double to center field to extend her hitting streak to six straight games. Stafford stepped in with the next at-bat and delivered a ball down the left field line over the wall for her fifth home run of the season. The round-tripper gave the Wildcats a 5-2 lead.
Botsch came back and finished off the Lions in game one by throwing a scoreless seventh inning, securing the victory. Botsch struck out five batters in the complete game, evening her record at 7-7on the season.
Shelby Thompson led all game one hitter with three hits, followed by Hassman’s two hits, three RBI’s and a run scored. Headley, Stafford and Griffin round out the teams’ eight hits in game one.
Looking for the sweep and sole possession of third place, game two did not go in favor of the visiting Wildcats.
Katie Warrington got the nod in game two for Wilmington, striking out five batters in the first four innings. She only allowed four hits in the first half of the game before giving way to Griffin for the final two innings.
Griffin also only allowed four hits in her outing, but gave up two unearned runs in the fifth inning and another unearned run in the sixth as Georgian Court escaped with the split.
Hassman and Thompson picked up one more hit apiece in game two, while Brooke Berger led all Wildcat hitters by going 2-for-2.
Brooke Hull pitched all 14 innings for the Lions, getting the win in game two while also leading the team with a 2-for-3 performance at the plate, knocking in two runs with a double in the fifth. She is now 26-11 on the season for the Lions while Griffin fell to 5-5 with the unfortunate loss.
With one doubleheader remaining for the Wildcats in the regular season, Wilmington can finish no worse than fourth place and will be the home team in at least one game at the CACC Tournament starting April 26 back in Lakewood. With a sweep over Nyack on Saturday, the Wildcats would secure a program best third place regular season finish.
The win in game one tied a program record for conference wins in a season for the Wildcats, tying last year’s team with 17 wins. The team will try to set a new program record at Nyack on Saturday with the day’s first pitch coming at 1:00 p.m.