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Seniors Say Farewell in Style; Wilmington Softball Sweeps Nyack, 8-1 and 3-0, on Senior Day
SB: Game 1: Wilmington 8 - Nyack 1; Game 2: Wilmington 3 - Nyack 0
A big sixth inning in the first game and a strong pitching performance in game two helped lead the Wilmington University softball team to a Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference sweep over Nyack, 8-1 and 3-0, on Senior Day at Asbury Field on Saturday afternoon.
Jillian Stafford did all for the Wildcats (28-16, 15-5 CACC) in the first contest, going 3-for-4 with two doubles, two RBI’s, and a run scored, while also tossing a complete game one-hitter, striking out seven Nyack (5-26, 1-23 CACC) batter to earn the win. Katie Warrington matched a season high with 17 strikeouts in the nightcap, helping the Wildcats to their eighth straight victory and 16th in their last 18 games.
Stafford and Warrington were among six seniors recognized prior to the doubleheader as a part of Senior Day. Although only Brooke Berger has been a four year member of the team, the senior class has now led the program to 103 wins, 62 in the CACC, in the past four seasons. In addition to Berger, Warrington and Stafford, Christin Headley, Skye Boris, and Shelby Thompson were also honored prior to playing in their last regular season weekend contest at Asbury Field.
Not to be outdone by her senior teammates, freshman Brook Ash made a name for herself as well, setting a new mark for a single season in Wilmington history. With one out in the third inning of game one, Ash beat out a throw on a single back to the pitcher, collecting her 63rd hit of the 2013 season. She set a new single season mark for hits, moving ahead of Lindsay Watson who had 62 hits in 2009.
Cambria Ziemba tied the first game with a second inning bloop single over the head of the third baseman, scoring Boris who singled to start the inning. Stafford then gave the Wildcats the lead for good in the third inning, doubling home Ash for the 2-1 lead. But the Wildcats left the bases loaded in the inning, unable to stretch the lead.
After a quiet fourth inning, back-to-back two out doubles by Stafford and Boris gave the Wildcats an insurance run, 3-1, before the bats broke out in the sixth.
With a pair of runners on, Thompson singled through the right side for the first run of the inning before Headley singled with the bases loaded, scoring one more. Stafford followed with another RBI single before a walk to Boris forced in another run. During the next at bat to Berger, Headley lost track of the count and wondered off third base too far, heading towards home on what thought to be ball four. After a brief rundown, Headley was able to slip the tag of the catch and touch home for the final run of the inning. Stafford took care of the rest with a 1-2-3 top of the seventh inning.
The second game was a Warrington pitching clinic as she only allowed two hits in seven innings, needing 94 pitches to strikeout 17 batters in the complete game victory.
The only run Warrington would need came in the fourth inning, as Boris doubled over the head of the left fielder, scoring Stafford from first base. The pitcher received insurance runs in the sixth inning, however, as the Wildcats hit four consecutive singles to start the inning, capped by Boris’ two run single to left center.
Warrington responded with three more strikeouts in the top of the seventh, securing the doubleheader sweep on Senior Day. The senior improved to 14-3 from inside the circle on the year.
Stafford went a combined 5-for-7 on the afternoon, hitting three doubles while knocking in two runners. Boris hit 5-for-6 with five RBI’s and two doubles. Ash finished 3-for-7 on the day to bring her average to .430 on the year, second in the CACC.
Wilmington has Sunday off but will get back into CACC action on Monday, making up a postponed doubleheader with Holy Family. The games will be played at Helen Randle Park in Newtown, Pa., with the first pitch of game one scheduled for 3:00 p.m.