TOURNAMENT PREVIEW: Wilmington Softball Makes Fourth Straight NCAA East Regional Appearance

Copyright 2017; Wilmington University. All rights reserved. Photo by Darrin Pratz.
Copyright 2017; Wilmington University. All rights reserved. Photo by Darrin Pratz.

GARDEN CITY, N.Y. - - The Wilmington University softball team has earned a spot in the NCAA Division II East Regional Tournament for the fourth straight year, earning one of five at-large bids for the 2017 postseason tournament. The Wildcats earned the No. 8 seed and will head to No. 1 and host Adelphi in Garden City, N.Y.

It is the second time in program history that the Wildcats earned an at-large bid into the NCAA Division II East Regional Tournament, with the other two coming as automatic bids after winning the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference Tournament. The Wildcats went 0-2 in the 2017 CACC Tournament at the No. 4 seed.

The Wildcats are in a four-team pod playing at Adelphi with the host Panthers, No. 4 New Haven, and No. 5 Mercy College. The other side of the East Regional Tournament features No. 2 seed and host Molloy, No. 3 Caldwell, No. 6 Merrimack, and No. 7 NYIT.

The Wildcats and Panthers will play on Thursday, May 11 at 12:00 p.m. to kickoff Regional play.

Location of NCAA Division II East Regional Tournament I:

Janet L. Ficke Softball Field
1 South Ave.
Garden City, NY 11530

Ways to Follow the Action:

Live Stats for All Games
Tournament Home Page
NCAA Division II Softball Bracket

Scouting the No. 8 Wilmington University Wildcats:

The Wildcats tied their program record with 34 wins this season, tying the mark set in 2013 (34-20) and again in 2015 (34-18). The 19 conference wins are tied for second most in program history, only behind last year's mark of 20 wins and six losses. The 19 wins ties the mark set in 2013 and again in 2015.

The Wildcats had four members voted All-CACC, including freshman left fielder Rosa'Lynn Burton being named the CACC Rookie of the Year. Burton was joined on the First Team with starting pitcher Caitlyn Whiteside. Second baseman Jazmeen Llamas and third baseman Kaitlyn Slater were voted Second Team All-CACC.

Burton leads the Wildcats and is second in the CACC with a .472 batting average while also leading the CACC with 84 hit, 52 runs scored, and 41 stolen bases. Her 41 stolen bases are already a single season program record while she also broke the program's single season mark of 83 hits set by Brook Ash in 2013 with two hits in the CACC Tournament.

Slater leads the team and is third in the CACC with 44 RBI on the year. She is second in the conference with nine home runs, which also set a new single season program mark for the Wildcats. Colby Wyatt has six homers on the season and is second on the team with 39 RBI. Wyatt broke the program's all-time RBI mark earlier this season and now has 110 career RBI.

Llamas is second on the team with a .374 batting average while freshman catcher Mirabella Klebart is third with a .316 batting average.

In the circle, Whiteside leads the CACC with a 1.31 ERA, throwing a single season program record with 13 complete game shutouts. In 160.2 innings pitched, she has only allowed 30 earned runs and 18 walks while striking out 84 batters. She is 17-9 on the season in 33 appearances.

Senior starter Brooklyn Lachette is fifth in the CACC with a 2.12 ERA, going 6-3 in 23 appearances. In 79.1 innings this season, she has allowed 24 earned runs while striking out 35 batters with only 13 walks.

As a team, the Wildcats lead the league with 100 stolen bases, third in the CACC with a .305 batting average, and third overall with a .430 slugging percentage. They are also second in the CACC in mashing 28 home runs, second to only Georgian Court's 30 who did not reach the CACC Tournament.

As a staff, the Wildcats lead the CACC with a 1.95 ERA, .45 points lower than Dominican's 2.40 team ERA. The Wildcats rank fifth in the league with a .958 fielding percentage.

All-Time in the NCAA Division II East Regional Tournament:

2014 (1-2): #1 LIU Post def. #8 Wilmington, 1-0; #8 Wilmington def. #4 New Haven, 2-1; #5 Southern New Hampshire def. #8 Wilmington, 1-0
2015 (1-2): #4 Adelphi def. #5 Wilmington, 3-1 (16 inn.); #5 Wilmington def. #8 Pace, 2-0; #1 Caldwell def. #5 Wilmington, 7-2
2016 (0-2): #1 Caldwell def. #8 Wilmington, 4-1; #5 Le Moyne def. #8 Wilmington, 3-2 (8 inn.)

Overall: 2-6

Season and All-Time Series vs. NCAA East I Region Participants:

#1 Adelphi University Panthers: 2017 – DNP; All-Time – 1-3; NCAA Tournament – 0-1
#4 New Haven University Chargers: 2017 – DNP; All-Time – 1-1; NCAA Tournament – 1-0
#5 Mercy College Mavericks: 2017 – DNP; All-Time – 4-3; NCAA Tournament – 0-0
#8 Wilmington University Wildcats

2017 NCAA Division II East Region I Tournament Game Schedule:

Thursday, May 11
Game 1: #1 Adelphi vs. #8 Wilmington – 12:00 p.m.
Game 2: #4 New Haven vs. #5 Mercy – 2:30 p.m.

Friday, May 12
Game 3: Winner of Game 1 vs. Winner of Game 2 – 11:00 a.m.
Game 4: Loser of Game 1 vs. Loser of Game 2 – 1:30 p.m.
Game 5: Winner of Game 4 vs. Loser of Game 3 – 4:00 p.m.

Saturday, May 13
Game 6: Winner of Game 3 vs. Winner of Game 5 – 12:00 p.m.
Game 7 (if necessary): Winner of Game 6 vs. Loser of Game 6