The Wilmington University softball team dropped a pair of games to nationally ranked teams on Wednesday morning, falling 8-7 to #23 West Virginia Wesleyan and 9-4 to #22 Southern Indiana in the day's second game at the National Training Center.
West Virginia Wesleyan was ranked #23 in last week's NFCA National Poll but fell out of the national poll when the new rankings came out after the game was completed. Southern Indiana received votes last week in the national poll and moved into the No. 22 spot in Wednesday's updated rankings, which were released just before the start of their game against the Wildcats (7-5).
The Wildcats nearly came back to defeat West Virginia Wesleyan, scoring three runs in the top of the sixth to make it a one run game. Miranda Pedersen singled with one out to represent the tying run on base in the bottom of the seventh. After a pitching change, Alyssa Shawgo induced a pop out and a ground out, ending the threat and earning the save for the Bobcats.
Kelsey Doherty batted 2-for-3 at the top of the Wildcats lineup, including a two-run single in the sixth to cut the deficit to a single run. Colby Wyatt, Pedersen, and Chelsea Botsch also collected two hits each in the win, with Botsch adding an RBI in the sixth inning to start the scoring. Pinch hitter Shannon Brantley went 1-for-1 with a two-run double in the fourth.
Danielle Bradley was saddled with the loss after giving up four runs (three earned) in the fourth inning. Anna Eggleston picked up the win for the Bobcats with 6.1 innings pitched, allowing seven runs on 11 hits.
The Wildcats jumped out in front of newly ranked Southern Indiana as Doherty led off the bottom of the first with an infield single. She came around to score as Wyatt grounded out to the pitcher, scoring on the throw.
The Screaming Eagles scored single runs in the top of the second and third innings but the Wildcats answered with a crooked number in the bottom of the third. Becca Stanley led off the inning with an infield single before back-to-back single by Doherty and Cambria Ziemba loaded the bases with one out. Wyatt chopped one to the pitcher but her throw home was off the mark, allowing two runs to come home. Pedersen followed with a squeeze bunt, scoring Ziemba from third for the 4-2 lead.
A three-run homer in the top of the fourth inning erased the Wilmington lead however, as Southern Indiana went on to tack four more insurance runs on in the top of the fifth.
Doherty went 3-for-4 with two runs scored in the second game of the day while Ziemba, Stanley, and Kaitlyn Slater added single base hits in the contest. Botsch took the loss in 3.2 innings of relief, falling to 2-3 on the year.
The Wildcats wrap up their 14-game stay in Florida on Thursday, playing a doubleheader against regional foe Southern Connecticut State. The first pitch of the twin bill is schedule for 9 a.m. at the National Training Center.