Video recap at the bottom of the page.
Copyright 2016; Wilmington University. All rights reserved. Photo of Taylor Rizzotte's single that scored two runs in the sixth, taken by Erin Harvey.
LAKEWOOD, N.J. - - The third seeded Wilmington University softball team is one win away from capturing their second ever Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference Tournament Championship after advancing to the final round with a 9-2 win over fourth seeded Holy Family on Friday afternoon at Georgian Court University.
The Wildcats (30-21) advance to Saturday's final through the winner's bracket, needing only one win to be crowned champion. They are looking for their second championship in the past three seasons. The Wildcats need to go through Holy Family once again, as they stayed alive with a 3-2, come-from-behind victory over seventh seeded Bloomfield an the elimination game.
The bats came out to play in the winner's bracket game, as the Wildcats collected 10 hits on the day while also being aided by seven Tiger errors. After getting down, 1-0, in the top of the first, the Wildcats responded by scoring five runs in their first three at-bats.
Taylor Rizzotte started the bottom of the first with an infield single before Danielle Bradley worked a long at-bat for a walk. Rizzotte was able to tie the game, scoring on the Tigers' first error. Now with two outs, Becca Stanley fought one off and placed it just past the middle infielders, scoring Bradley for the 2-1 lead.
The Tigers put their first two runners on base in the second, but Bradley made a shoe string catch in the circle on a bunt attempt before doubling up the runner at first. Bradley was able to get out of the inning as Kaitlyn Slater caught a liner at third base.
Speed aided the Wildcats in the second inning, as both Jazmeen Llamas and Cambria Ziemba reached with bunts. Llamas forced a throwing error by the third baseman before Ziemba legged out a single and another throwing error allowed Llamas to score for the 3-1 lead.
Bradley stranded a pair on the corners in the top of the third inning, narrowly escaping a foul ball down the left field line. Rizzotte made a nice running catch coming in to end the threat.
Back-to-back errors put the first two Wildcats on base in the third before Slater and Meghan Brown followed with back-to-back RBI singles and a 5-1 lead.
Caitlyn Whiteside relieved Bradley in the top of the fourth inning and quickly shut the Tigers down in the fourth and fifth frames. The Tigers' best chance to get back into the game came in the top of the sixth.
With two outs and the bases empty, the Tigers received three straight singles to score a run. It looked as though the Wildcats were going to get out of the jam, but an error kept the inning alive and load the bases. Holy Family's Bailey Walters put a charge into one to right, but Rizzotte was there again to make a spectacular catch to end the threat.
Rizzotte than put the game away in the bottom of the sixth, lining one to left that skipped past the left fielder for two more runs. Bradley followed with another single into right center, bringing in Rizzotte for the 8-2 lead. Colby Wyatt singled to keep the inning alive before Stanley capped the scoring with another knock through the left side to score Bradley.
Whiteside allowed a one out single in the seventh, but the runner only reached second as she picked up a line out and chased down a short pop up in the infield for the final out of the game.
Rizzotte and Stanley collected two hits each while Stanley finished with a game high two RBI. Whiteside earned the win in four innings of relief, improving to 12-6 on the season.
The first pitch against the Tigers tomorrow is scheduled for 12:00 p.m. on Field 1. Live stats can be followed (http://www.sidearmstats.com/georgian/softball/) as well as live video (http://collegetvticket.com/schedule/index?from=04%2F29%2F2016&to=04%2F29%2F2016&school=422&activity=22&submit=Go&conference=0&tournament=0).