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LAKEWOOD, N.J. - - The Wilmington University softball team's run to the 2018 Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference Tournament Championship came to a close on Friday afternoon, as a comeback bid against No. 4 Dominican fell a run short on the campus of Georgian Court University.
The day started with a convincing 7-2 victory over No. 5 seeded Post, staving off one elimination before falling to No. 4 Dominican, 7-6, in a comeback effort. After falling behind, 5-0, the Wildcats (37-17) came roaring back to eventually tie the game, 6-6, leaving two runners on in the sixth, and the bases loaded in the seventh.
Game One vs. No. 5 Post:
Alyssa Velasquez gave the Wildcats a 3-0 lead in the top of the third inning, blasting a solo shot to center field for her third homer of the season.
After stranding three Eagles in the top of the fourth inning, Makayla McCarthy helped herself out with a grand slam in the bottom of the fourth, a no-doubter for her team leading sixth home run of the season and the 7-0 advantage.
Post got on the board in the top of the sixth, as an error and a two-run homer started the frame for the Eagles. The Eagles eventually loaded the bases in the inning, but McCarthy induced a pop up on the infield to escape further damage.
Going back out in the seventh, McCarthy stranded a one-out single on second, as Lexi Baughman came up with a colliding catch in right center to end the game. She ran into right fielder Keara McCarthy, but held on tight to end the game and keep the Wildcats alive.
McCarhty struck out seven while allowing two runs (one earned) on five hits and went 2-for-3 with a grand slam, four RBI and two runs scored. Alyssa Velasquez homered and went 2-for-3 with three runs scored. Mirabella Klebart batted 2-for-3 with a double in the win.
Game Two vs. No. 4 Dominican:
The Chargers jumped out fast in the Wildcats' second elimination game of the day, scoring on an RBI groundout to first and beating off a swinging bunt in front of the plate for an early 2-0 lead.
Dominican added to its lead in the top of the second inning, leading off the frame with a solo homer over the left field foul pole and a two-out, two-run homer to left center to move ahead, 5-0.
The first five Wildcat outs were via the strikeout before Jordyn Virden put the Wildcats on the board with a two-run moon shot to center in the bottom of the second.
Annie Davila cut into the deficit even more in the bottom of the third, hitting a two-run, two-out single through the left side to get the Wildcats back to within on, 5-4.
Coming on in relief, Makayla McCarthy ran into trouble in the fourth as the Chargers had runners on second and third with no outs. She only allowed a sacrifice fly in the inning, however, as the Chargers led, 6-4.
Rosa'Lynn Burton led off the bottom of the fifth with a triple off the wall in left center, coming in on a squeeze bunt by Makayla McCarthy, 6-5, reaching first as the play went to the plate. McCarthy was left at second as the fifth ended.
With two outs and a runner on third in the sixth, Alyssa Velasquez doubled over the head of the left fielder, tying the game, 6-6. Rosa'Lynn Burton walked to keep the inning alive, but Makayla McCarthy's long fly ball was caught in center to end the inning.
McCarthy recorded the first out of the seventh, but the Chargers took the lead with another solo homer to center, taking a 7-6 advantage.
Lauren Lopez started the Wildcats' last chance with a one-out single and Mirabella Klebart gave the Wildcats life with a double inside the left field line. An intentional walk loaded the bases, but the Chargers were able to escape unharmed, inducing an infield fly for the second out, and a nice play up the middle by the shortstop to rob Jazmeen Llamas a hit to end the game.
The Wildcats are still alive for an at-large bid into the NCAA Division II East Regional Tournament, as they were seventh in the final ranking of the regular season. The field will be announced on Monday morning at 10:00 a.m. with the selection show on NCAA.com.