NEW CASTLE, Del. - - West Chester University scored early in game one and then scored late in game two to earn a doubleheader sweep over the Wilmington University softball team, 8-0 (5 inn.) and 7-4 (9 inn.), on Thursday afternoon at Asbury Field.
West Chester (17-5) received votes in this week's NFCA National Poll and came in riding a six-game winning streak. They used the strong left arm of Amanda Houck in both games against the Wildcats (11-8), jumping out to an early lead in game one before scoring often in extra innings in game two.
It didn't take long for the Golden Rams to strike in the opener, soring four runs on five hits in the top of the first inning of Wilmington starter Caitlyn Whiteside. The sophomore pitcher's scoreless inning streak came to a close at 21.2 consecutive innings in the loss. West Chester first scored on an error, but than added a three-run blast to make it 4-0 in the blink of an eye.
That was more than enough for Houck, as she mowed the Wildcats down in order, retiring all 15 batters she faced for the five-inning perfect game. She struck out four batters while not one Wildcat reached base. The Golden Rams added two more runs in the second and two in the fourth to activate the eight-run mercy rule. Alyssa Herion went 2-for-2 with six RBI in the contest.
Houck went back into the circle in game two, but the Wildcats were able to erase any thoughts of back-to-back perfect games or no-hitters extremely early, as Rosa'Lynn Burton started the bottom of the first inning off with a single back up the middle.
The Wildcats used a pair of errors on one play to scratch a run across in the bottom of the second. With Becca Stanley on first base, Whitney DeMora reached on a wild throw by the pitcher, moving both runners up a base. Then the returning throw from the right fielder went askew and Stanley scampered home to put the home team up, 1-0.
Game-two starter Danielle Bradley pitched well into the eighth inning only allowing one run in the top of the fourth on a two-out double.
The Wildcats had a chance in the bottom of the seventh inning walk away with a win as Stanley started the inning with a leadoff double. Now with one out and runners on first and second, Houck picked up a big strikeout before inducing Burton to ground out to force extra innings.
With the international tiebreaker rule in effect, the Golden Rams scored first, getting a two-run double in the top of the eighth inning. But the Wildcats answered back in the home half, receiving back-to-back doubles from Meghan Brown and Colby Wyatt to tie the game, 3-3. They had a runner on second with only one out, but an excellent over the should grab by the center fielder caught Jazmeen Llamas off second base, doubling her up to end the threat.
West Chester tacked on four runs on two hits and was aided by two Wilmington errors in the top of the ninth. The Wildcats couldn't muster another late game comeback. DeMora singled back up the middle to score one Wilmington run, but that was all they would get in the bottom of the ninth.
Stanley led the offense with two hits while Bradley went 7.0 innings in the no decision. She allowed three runs (two earned) on 10 hits before giving way to Colby Wyatt.
The Wildcats get a chance to break their three-game losing streak on Saturday when they return to Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference action with a highly anticipated matchup against Caldwell at Asbury Field. First pitch of the doubleheader is scheduled for 12:00 p.m.