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Big Rally in Game Two Falls Just Short as Wilmington Softball is Swept at the National Training Center

SB: Game 1: Saint Rose 5 - Wilmington 2; Game 2: Southern New Hampshire 11 - Wilmington 10

Wednesday, March 6, 2013 - Clermont, Fla.

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Senior Jillian Stafford went 3-for-8 with three runs and five RBIs in Wednesday's doubleheader against Saint Rose and Southern New Hampshire. Copyright 2013; Wilmington University. Photo credit: Nicole Wiecheck. All rights reserved.



Freshman Rice Fazio went 1-for-2 with a double and two RBI's against Saint Rose on Wednesday. Copyright 2013; Wilmington University. Photo credit: Nicole Wiecheck. All rights reserved.



Freshman Cambria Ziemba batted 2-for-4 with a run and an RBI against Southern New Hampshire on Wednesday. Copyright 2013; Wilmington University. Photo credit: Nicole Wiecheck. All rights reserved.

An early lead in each game turned into late rallies falling short for the Wilmington University softball team, as it fell to East Region opponents Saint Rose, 5-2, and Southern New Hampshire, 11-10, on Wednesday night at the National Training Center.

The Wildcats (8-8) took a fourth inning lead before Saint Rose (1-5) responded with three runs in the top of the seventh in Wednesday’s game one while Southern New Hampshire (4-2) opened a 10-4 lead in game two. The Wildcats battled back to tie the game at 10 with a six run fifth inning, but Southern New Hampshire responded with a single run in the bottom of the fifth that held up as the game winner.

Trailing 1-0 going into the bottom of the fourth inning, the Wildcats took their only lead of the contest with two runs in a game in which their ace lasted only two innings. With two outs and Jillian Stafford on first, Skye Boris started the two out rally with a single into left field. Freshman Rice Fazio followed suit with a double to left center, scoring both Stafford and Boris to take a 2-1 lead.

Saint Rose battled back with a run in the top of the fifth inning before taking the lead for good with a three spot in the top of the seventh off reliever Chelsea Botsch.

The Wildcats threatened in the bottom half of the seventh inning, putting a pair of runners on base with one out. But Saint Rose buckled down and recorded a ground out and a pop up from the middle of the Wilmington lineup to secure its first victory of the 2013 season.

Five different player recorded one hit for the Wildcats who were outhit in the game, 9-5. Botsch was saddled with the loss after throwing five innings and giving up five runs (four earned) in relief.

Wilmington got on the board earlier in its second game of the day, putting a three spot on the board while only recording one out in the first inning. With a pair of runners on base, Stafford homered to left center, quickly putting the Wildcats up 3-0 over Southern New Hampshire.

The Penmen responded with a couple of big innings, putting five runs on the board in the bottom of the second inning and another four runs in the bottom of the fourth inning. They led by as many large as 10-4 after the fourth inning.

The Wildcats wouldn’t go down quietly, however, as the Wildcats got all six runs back to tie the game, using three hits in the bottom of the fifth. With two on, Stafford tripled down the left field line, clearing the bases to start the rally. Two batters later, Boris singled into left field, allowing Stafford to trot home to cut the deficit to 10-7. Now with the bases loaded, Cambria Ziemba singled back up the middle to score another run. Shelby Thompson worked a bases loaded walk to make it a one run game before Brook Ash earned a free base to tie the game at 10. But the Wildcats couldn’t put any more runs on the board, leaving the bases loaded in the fifth.

Southern New Hampshire did hang its heads for long, recovering fast enough to retake the lead in the bottom of the fifth off Stafford who came on to pitch in the second inning.

The Wildcats put one last effort into tying the game in the seventh, as Ziemba led off the inning with a single into left field. After back to back strikeouts, Ziemba put herself in scoring position by stealing second, but Brooke Berger flied out to center to end the game.

Stafford and Ziemba each went 2-for-4 for the game, while Stafford matched a game high with five RBI’s. Six different people recorded hits against Southern New Hampshire while seven different players scored at least one run.

Wilmington will take its final off day of its two week trip to Clermont, Fla. on Thursday before returning to action for two more days on Spring Break. When they return to action, the Wildcats will square off against Wayne State (Neb.) and Gannon on Friday morning.