The Wilmington University softball team needed six runs in the top of the seventh inning to overcome Ohio Dominican, 8-6, in Tuesday night's first game before falling to No. 21 Indianapolis, 6-2, in the nightcap at the National Training Center.
The Wildcats (7-3) scored six runs on only two hits in the top of the seventh to come back from a 6-2 deficit to stun Ohio Dominican. The Wildcats then ran into a buzz saw named Morgan Foley, the reigning CoSIDA National Pitcher of the Year, and UIndy in the nightcap, giving the Greyhound pitcher all she could handle in a 6-2 loss.
Ohio Dominican got on top of the Wildcats early, scoring three runs in the bottom of the first before the Wildcats tallied single runs in the second and third frames. Reigning Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference Player of the Week Cambria Ziemba put the Wildcats on the put with an RBI single through the right side in the second, scoring Shannon Brantley from third. Kelsey Doherty scored on a fielding error after starting the third with a single up the middle, cutting the deficit to 3-2.
The Panthers (0-13) added three runs in the bottom of the fifth inning, chasing Brantley from the circle. Down to their last at-bat, the Wildcats made it count.
With runners on second and third and one out, Michelle Panasiti laced a single into left center, plating a pair to cut the deficit to 6-4. Colby Wyatt singled up the middle scoring pinch runner Taylor Rizzotte and bringing the Wildcats to within a single run. Pinch runner Chelsea Botsch scored the game-tying run from second base on a passed ball before Kaitlyn Slater walked with the bases loaded to give the Wildcats the lead for the first time. A pitch with the bases still loaded hit Miranda Pedersen, adding an insurance run for the Wildcats.
Botsch entered the circle in the bottom of the frame, shutting down the Panthers in order for the save.
Doherty, Panasiti, and Wyatt each collected two hits while Panasiti led the Wildcats with two RBI. Freshman Danielle Bradley earned the victory with 1.1 innings of relief, improving to 2-0. Botsch earned her first save of the season with the inning pitched.
Facing one of the best pitchers in all of NCAA Division II in the nightcap, the Wildcats fought for seven innings against Foley and nationally No. 21 Indianapolis. The Greyhounds jumped out to a 3-0 lead after the top of the first and carried a 4-0 lead after two whole innings.
Still trailing 4-0 in the bottom of the fourth, the Wildcats struck with four hits to cut the deficit in half. With two outs and the bases empty, Brantley doubled down the left field line to start the rally. Panasiti singled to put runners on first and third before Pedersen doubled to the wall in left center, chasing both runners home for the two-run double. Wyatt singled to again put runners on first and third but the Greyhounds got out of the jam as Monique Rojas grounded out to end the threat.
Indianapolis scored single runs in the top of the fifth and sixth innings to grab a 6-2 lead. The Wildcats stranded runners in the bottom of the sixth and seventh innings, wasting a leadoff single by Ziemba in the sixth and Wyatt reaching on an error to lead off the seventh.
Foley improved to 8-2 for the Greyhounds, striking out 11 batters while allowing five hits and not walking a batter.
The Wildcats received single hits from Ziemba, Brantley, Panasiti, Pedersen, and Wyatt in the nightcap. Botsch was saddled with the loss, falling to 2-2 on the season.
The Wildcats have a quick turnaround for their next contest, as they are back in action at the National Training Center on Wednesday morning at 9 a.m. The Wildcats square off against No. 23 West Virginia Wesleyan before facing Southern Indiana (who received votes in last week's NFCA national poll) at 11 a.m.