Skye Boris and Jillian Stafford Register Game-Winning Hits as Wilmington Softball Sweeps Georgian Court
SB: Game 1: Wilmington 6 - Georgian Court 5; Game 2: Wilmington 6 - Georgian Court 5
Friday, April 26, 2013 - New Castle, DE
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Senior Jillian Stafford hit a bases clearing double in the sixth inning of game two, giving the Wildcats a 6-5 lead over Georgian Court on Friday. Copyright 2013; Wilmington University. All rights reserved. Photo credit: Frank Stallworth
Freshman Brook Ash went 7-for-8 in the doubleheader against Georgian Court, scoring two runs and knocking a run in on Friday. Copyright 2013; Wilmington University. All rights reserved. Photo credit: Frank Stallworth
Senior Shelby Thompson went 2-for-3 in each game on Friday, legging out infield single and even moving to third on an over throw error against Georgian Court. Copyright 2013; Wilmington University. All rights reserved. Photo credit: Frank Stallworth
The Wilmington University softball team set itself up nicely heading into its final Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference regular season doubleheader on Saturday, sweeping Georgian Court, 6-5 and 6-5, with a pair of late inning rallies on Friday night at Asbury Field.
Playing in their final home games of the 2013 season, the Wildcats (30-18, 17-7 CACC) scored a run in the bottom of the seventh in game one and came back with four runs in the bottom of the sixth to claim game two, both by 6-5 scores. In back and forth action, Georgian Court (25-25, 15-9 CACC) held leads in each contest before a few clutch hits by Wilmington allowed the Wildcats to earn the victories.
The wins helped move the Wildcats into a tie for third place with USciences with every team playing their final CACC doubleheader on Saturday. The Wildcats hold the tiebreaker over the Devils by sweeping them earlier this season. Wilmington heads to Concordia on Saturday while USciences heads to Caldwell to end the season. Holy Family is a game back of both the Wildcats and Devils and heads to Post to round out the year. Two wins for the Wildcats and they will automatically claim the third seed.
The sweep also gave the Wildcats 30 wins for only the second time since joining the NCAA ranks, with the 2007 team finishing 31-15 overall.
Trailing 1-0 in the first game, the Wildcats broke a string of 16 scoreless inning in a big way, breaking out for a four run third inning. Shelby Thompson led off the inning with a single and wound up standing on third after a two-base throwing error. Game one starter Chelsea Botsch helped herself out with an RBI bunt single to tie the game at 1-1.
Cambria Ziemba followed with another bunt single to third before Brook Ash loaded the bases with a bunt single to the shortstop. Still without any outs, Christin Headley roped a line drive off the tip of the glove of the first baseman, sending the ball to right field and scoring two more runs. A miscommunication error on a short pop up down the right field line allowed another run to score for the Wildcats, as they exited the inning with a 4-1 lead.
The Lions responded with four runs of their own in the top of the fourth but the Wildcats answered right back with a run in the home half. Thompson again sparked the inning, singling back up the middle. After advancing to second, Ash singled in Thompson with two outs, hitting one into right field for the RBI.
Botsch settled in and recorded back-to-back 1-2-3 innings before a one out single in the seventh broke the streak of nine straight outs recorded. She induced a pop up and struck out the final batter of the seventh to give the Wildcats a chance to win it.
The bottom of the seventh started with a single up the middle. Ash chopped one to third to put the game winning run in scoring position. Headley moved the runners up 60 feet with a sacrifice bunt for the first out. Jillian Stafford’s fly ball to left wasn’t deep enough to score the game-winner by Skye Boris picked up the team and hit a sinking liner to right. The right fielder made a sliding attempt on the ball, but it popped in and out of the glove, allowing Ziemba to score the winning run.
The bats didn’t come as quickly for the Wildcats in the second game, as they found themselves down 2-0 after the first inning of play.
Katie Warrington held the Lions off for the next four innings, giving the offense a chance. The comeback started with single runs in the fourth and fifth innings.
With the bases loaded in the fourth, Thompson singled to third base, scoring Stafford for the home team’s first run, but that would be all they would get in the inning, leaving all three runners on base. The Wildcats tied the game in the fifth with another single run, as Boris hit a deep double to center field with two outs to score Headley from first.
But as soon as the Wildcats tied the game, the Lions retaliated with a three run sixth inning off Warrington. With runners at second and third and two outs, the Lions’ Alyssa Paradiso singled back up the middle, easily scoring the run from third. Thompson’s throw from center was on line and Boris applied the tag at home on the second runner, cutting down the Lions at the plate. That run would loom large for Georgian Court.
Meghan Logullo got the sixth inning rally started for the Wildcats with an RBI single to right field, cutting the deficit to 5-3. Now with two outs, Ash singled back up the middle to put runners on first and second. Headley walked to load the bases and bring Stafford up to the plate. The senior smashed a double to left center, getting by the left fielder to allow all three runners to score, clearing the bases and giving the home team a 6-5 lead.
The Lions got the tying run on base after an error, but Warrington induced a fly out to left and recorded her 11th strikeout of the contest for the final out of the game to pick up the much needed sweep.
Botsch improved to 11-8 on the year with five strikeouts in the first game before Warrington moved to 15-4 on the season with her 11 strikeout performance.
Ash went 7-for-8 on the afternoon, including a 4-for-4 performance in game one. Thompson batted 4-for-6 on the afternoon with two runs scored and an RBI.
The Wildcats’ doubleheader at Concordia begins on Saturday at 1 p.m.