The Wilmington University softball team opened its 2015 Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference schedule with a pair of one-run games against Chestnut Hill on Wednesday, 8-7 and 1-0, at Asbury Field.
The Wildcats (11-6, 2-0 CACC) needed extra innings to secure the game one victory, letting a five-run lead with two outs in the seventh innings slip away to force extra innings. Chelsea Botsch was more than the Griffins (2-6, 0-2 CACC) could handle in game two, as she picked up her first complete game shutout of her senior season.
The bats came out fast and furious in the first game as the Wildcats collected 17 hits in the game, including six doubles and a triple.
Cambria Ziemba tripled in the top of the first before being brought home by Michelle Panasiti for the game's first run. Panasiti knocked in Kelsey Doherty in the third inning after Doherty doubled to lead off the inning.
The Wildcats widened the margin to 7-2 with three runs in the sixth inning, thinking that would be good enough for the win. Panasiti picked up her third RBI of the game to start the scoring in the sixth before Miranda Pedersen doubled in a pair as she laced a ball to the fence in right center.
Starter Brooke Lachette picked up the first two outs in the top of the seventh on only three pitches before things got interesting. Two walks and a single loaded the bases for the Griffins before a single back up the middle scored a pair. Laura Eidam than took the next pitch and scorched off the top of the fence on a line and over for a game tying three-run home run.
The Wildcats left the game winning run on second in the bottom of the seventh, sending the game into extra innings. Reliever Chelsea Botsch stranded the international tiebreaker runner at third after a great running catch towards the line in right by Taylor Rizzotte, giving the offense a chance.
Ziemba moved Doherty over to third base with a sacrifice bunt. Panasiti nearly completed a perfect game at the play by stinging one to third, but the Griffins made a nice play for the second out of the inning. Ashley Bennett singled through the left side, bringing in Doherty for the game-winner.
Panasiti batted 4-for-5 with three RBI and two runs scored while Doherty, Ziemba, Bennett, Pedersen, and Kaitlyn Slater added two hits each in the opener.
The Wildcats struck early again in game two, scoring a run in the bottom of the second. With runners on first and second, Slater singled back up the middle, scoring Becca Stanley from second. Rizzotte would later walk to load the bases with two outs, but Griffin starter Courtney Dayter induced Doherty to ground out to end the inning and only allowing the one unearned run.
It was the Botsch and Dayter show from there as the pitchers went back-and-forth through quick innings. Chestnut Hill stranded single runners in the third, fifth, sixth, and seventh innings while Wilmington only stranded single runners on in the fourth and sixth innings.
Botsch gave up a leadoff single in the top of the seventh but didn't allow the runner to move past first as she picked up a fly out, a strike out, and a ground out to end the game. She struck out eight batters without allowing a walk while only giving up five hits to earn her second win of the afternoon. The senior captain improved to 4-4 on the season with the two wins.
The Wildcats improved to 20-0 all-time against the Griffins since Chestnut Hill joined the CACC for the 2008 softball season.
Wilmington remains in CACC play for their next contests, as they welcome Dominican to Asbury Field for a conference doubleheader on Saturday afternoon. The first pitch of game one is scheduled for 1 p.m.