Pair of Walk-Offs In Different Circumstances Gives Wilmington Softball Doubleheader Sweep over Philadelphia
SB: Game 1: Wilmington 2 - Philadelphia 1 (8 inn.); Game 2: Wilmington 9 - Philadelphia 1 (5 inn.)
Wednesday, April 10, 2013 - New Castle, DE
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Wilmington University player Christin Headley (22) swings at a pitch during a CACC softball game against Philadelphia University at Wilmington University in New Castle, Delaware on April 10, 2013. Photo by Mark Tetreault.Wilmington University pitcher Chelsea Botsch (3) delivers a pitch to a Philadelphia University batter during their CACC softball game at Wilmington University in New Castle, Delaware on April 10, 2013. Photo by Mark Tetreault.Wilmington University player Brooke Berger (8) gets a hit against Philadelphia University during their CACC softball game at Wilmington University in New Castle, Delaware on April 10, 2012. Photo by Mark Tetreault.
The celebrations at home plate were plentiful for the Wilmington University softball team in a Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference doubleheader against Philadelphia, scoring a run in the eighth inning of game one to win, 2-1, and scoring a run in the bottom of the fifth of game to force the mercy rule, 9-1, at Asbury Field on Wednesday.
Brooke Berger started the walk-off celebrations for the Wildcats (22-16, 9-5 CACC) with a single back up the middle with one out in the bottom of the eighth in game one before Christin Headley hit a double over the head of the centerfielder in the bottom of the fifth in game two to bring the mercy run into effect.
The first game was moving at a rapid pace, as neither team collected more than one hit in an inning until the Rams (13-23, 5-11 CACC) did in the top of the seventh. Sophomore starter Chelsea Botsch was cruising, only giving up one hit in the top of the first before slightly tripping up in the seventh.
Meanwhile, the offense had trouble solving Philadelphia starter Kasia Smith as well, only recording one hit in four separate innings until the seventh inning. They were, however, able to manage a run in the bottom of the fifth to take the lead.
Thompson started things with a chopper to third, reaching on a fielding error. Emily Nowell and Cambria Ziemba moved Thompson over to third on a pair of sacrifices. Brook Ash added to her outstanding afternoon, singling through the right side for the games’ first run.
The Rams were able to get to Botsch in the seventh, scoring an unearned run on a sacrifice fly to knot the game at 1-1. The Wildcats put two runners on base in the seventh, but it was two little too late as Headley popped up with two outs, unable to get the run home.
After Botsch got out of the top of the eighth unscathed, Jillian Stafford started the bottom half with a double to right center. Rachel Painter moved pinch runner Katie Warrington up to third with one out. Berger wasted no time and took the first pitch she saw back up the middle for the game-winning hit.
Game two started a little differently for the Wildcats, as they jumped out to a four run first and 6-1 lead after two innings of play. Stafford, Skye Boris and Berger collected RBI’s in the first before Ash added another RBI in the second, giving the home team a 6-1 lead.
The scoring started again in the fourth for the Wildcats, as Headley triple home Ash to make it 7-1. Stafford followed Headley with a single through the left side for an RBI, pushing the Rams to the brink of the eight run mercy rule. But a double play and a reaction catch by reliever Sarah Gardner off the bat of Thompson, ending the inning with no further damage.
After the Rams were unable to close the gap in the top of the fifth, the Wildcats quickly went back to work at the plate. With one out, Ziemba beat out an infield single to put the eighth run on base. Ash followed with another infield single, moving Ziemba up 60 feet. Headley stepped in and took a 1-0 pitch deep over the head of the centerfielder, easily scoring Ziemba for the walk-off, fifth inning win.
Warrington started game two, tossing the first three innings before handing the ball over to Stafford for the final two. Warrington struck out four while giving up the lone run on one hit. Stafford came on and only allowing one hit while striking out one to close out the doubleheader sweep.
Ash went a combined 5-for-7 on Wednesday with a run and two RBI’s against Philadelphia while Berger went 3-for-6 with a pair of RBI’s.
Wilmington, which has won 10 of its last 12 games overall, takes to the road for their next doubleheader as it heads to Post on Saturday. The CACC twinbill is set to start at 1 p.m.