NEW CASTLE, Del. - - The Wilmington University softball team swept a Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference doubleheader from USciences, using two different types of styles with a 9-2 victory in the opener before a 2-1 pitchers' duel in the nightcap on Wednesday afternoon at Asbury Field.
The Wildcats (21-12, 9-4 CACC) used 14 hits in the opener, scoring three runs in three separate innings before needing the strong pitching from Makayla McCarthy and a timely hit in the bottom of the sixth in the nightcap for the sweep.
Despite jumping out to a quick 3-0 lead after the top of the first, the Wildcats needed a three-run answer in the bottom of the fourth and a three-run six inning to put away the Devils (8-20, 5-9 CACC).
With runners on first and third in the first, Rosa'Lynn Burton was able to trot home as a throw from the catcher sailed into center field. Alyssa Velasquez then singled through the right side to score Jazmeen Llamas for the 2-0 lead. Two batters later, Lauren Lopez added to the lead with a single through the right side, plating Velasquez for the 3-0 advantage.
The Devils finally got to game one starter Caitlyn Whiteside in the fourth, hitting back-to-back doubles to start the inning. With one out and a runner on third, a chopper to Velasquez at short was fielded and thrown home, but her throw was up the first base line, bringing the Devils to within 3-2.
But the Wildcats had an answer in the bottom of the fourth, putting runners on first and third with only one out. Burton then singled back up the middle to bring in a run before Llamas followed with a single back up the middle to bring in Caitlyn Whiteside from second. Velasquez finished off the scoring with a squeeze bunt, allowing Burton to race home without a throw for the sacrifice.
The Wildcats put the game away with three more runs in the bottom of the sixth. With runners on second and third and no outs, Llamas singled back up the middle for another RBI before Burton raced home again on a wild pitch. Annie Davila capped the scoring with an RBI single to left, chasing Llamas home.
Whiteside scattered two hits the rest of the way after allowing the two runs in the fourth. She finished off the Devils with a comebacker into the circle for the final out of the game.
Llamas went 4-for-4 with two RBI and two runs scored while Jordyn Virden went 3-for-4 with a run scored. Lauren Lopez collected two hits while Velasquez finished with two RBI. Whiteside had the only extra base hit with a double.
Whiteside improved to 11-5 with the complete game win, striking out six while only allowing two runs (one earned) on five hits and a walk.
McCarthy worked out of a tough first inning by only allowing one unearned run after two errors put the first two runners on base. McCarthy induced a fly ball to left for the second out and the Wildcats turned it into a pair, catching the runner advancing to second on the play. But the runner form third scored before the third out was applied, putting the Wildcats up, 1-0.
Velasquez answered in the bottom of the first, hitting her first career home run with a line drive blast to right center. The only question was if it was high enough to get over the fence on its way out.
The Wildcats left two runners in scoring position in the fourth inning, but starting pitchers Kaitlyn Gaynor and Makayla McCarthy were nearly untouchable until the sixth inning.
Velasquez hit a one-out single to get things started before McCarthy's sacrifice bunt went between the pitcher and third baseman for a single instead. Lauren Lopez then dropped one in front of the right fielder and the throw to plate was off the mark as Velasquez slid home for the 2-1 lead.
McCarthy then struck out the final two batted in the seventh to close out the 2-1 sweep.
Velasquez was a triple shy of the cycle, going 3-for-3 with a home run and a double with an RBI and two runs scored. McCarthy and Lopez rounded out the Wildcats' five hits.
McCarthy struck out 10 Devils in improving to 9-7 on the season. She allowed an unearned run on three hits while not issuing a walk.
The Devils' Kaitlyn Gaynor struck out nine while not allowing a walk, giving up two runs on five hits in the loss.
The Wildcats travel to Dominican for their next CACC doubleheader on Saturday afternoon. The first pitch is scheduled for 12:00 p.m.