Copyright 2016; Wilmington University. All rights reserved. File photo of Danielle Bradley by Jospeh Craig.
CALDWELL, N.J. - - A different pair of late game heroics allowed the Wilmington University softball team to split a Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference doubleheaders at nationally ranked No. 17 Caldwell, winning 2-1 in game one, before losing 9-8 in the nightcap on Saturday afternoon.
A big double in the sixth inning backed a stellar performance in the circle in the first game before the Wildcats (6-12, 3-1 CACC) were out slugged in the nightcap.
A pitchers duel decided the first game before the bats allowed the Cougars (5-7, 1-1 CACC) to come back and take the second game of the doubleheader. A sixth inning, two-out, two run double by Kaitlyn Slater gave the Wildcats a 2-1 lead in game one. The Cougars battled back from an 8-5 deficit to score the final four runs of the late game to earn the split on Saturday.
Sophomore Danielle Bradley left two runners on base in the bottom of the second inning before stranding the bases loaded in the bottom of the third. After another scoreless fourth innings, the Cougars scored a leadoff walk in the bottom of the fifth, giving the home team a 1-0 lead.
But the Wildcats answered in the top of the sixth, getting a clutch two-out hit. Jazmeen Llamas started the inning by getting hit by a pitch, but the Wildcats kept Llamas at second with two outs. Kaitlyn Slater followed with a two-out, two-run double to left center, scoring both Llamas and Becca Stanley for the 2-1 lead.
Bradley worked through the bottom of the sixth before running into trouble in the seventh. A leadoff walk ended the day for Bradley, as Brooklyn Lachette came on and retired the next three batters. She induced a comebacker to the mound and a fly out, stranding runners on second and third to end the game.
Meghan Brown led the offense by going 2-for-3, with Slater leading the team with two RBI with her double. Bradley moved to 2-4 on the year while Lachette earned her third save of the year in tossing the final inning.
In a completely different game, the Cougars jumped out in front of the Wildcats, 5-0, after the first frame in the nightcap. But the Wildcats answered with a four run second inning, getting back into the game. Caitlyn Whiteside scored Slater with a single to center to put the Wildcats on the board. Brown added another RBI to score Whiteside before Bradley made it 5-3 with another run scoring single in the inning. Cambria Ziemba completed the inning by reaching on an error, bringing in Brown to get the Wildcats to within 5-4.
Shannon Brantley tied the game in the top of the third inning with a solo jack as Whiteside settled into her role in relief. An error extended the fifth for the Wildcats as Colby Wyatt cashed in with a two-run triple before Brown gave the Wildcats an 8-5 lead with an RBI single to right.
But the Cougars fired back with a two run fifth inning, getting three straight hits to start the frame. They added two runs in the bottom of the sixth, getting a two run double with two outs to take the lead.
Brantley doubled in the top of the seventh to give the Wildcats a chance, but the Cougars retired the final two outs to secure the victory and the split.
Brantley led the offense by going 3-for-4 with three runs scored while Bradley and Brown added two hits apiece. Brown also added two RBIs in game two.
The Wildcats return to action on Tuesday as they host Pitt-Johnstown at Asbury Field. The nonconference doubleheader will begin at 1:00 pm on Tuesday afternoon.