Pitchers Chelsea Botsch and Brooke Lachette paced the Wilmington University softball team to its fourth and fifth straight Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference shutout, 6-0 and 6-0, at Felician on Tuesday afternoon at Matera Field.
First it was Botsch who led the Wildcats (18-11, 9-5 CACC) to a 6-0 game one victory, striking out eight while only allowing four hits and a walk. Lachette followed with a three hit shutout, striking out five while only walking one for a game two shutout and the sweep. Felician (8-13, 5-5 CACC) left five runs on base in each contest.
The Wildcats started fast in the first game of the day, as Kelsey Doherty started the game with a triple to right center, scoring easily when Cambria Ziemba doubled down the right field line in the next at-bat.
Taylor Rizzotte started the third inning with a leadoff single, moving to second when Doherty bunted her over. Ziemba reached on a throwing error, allowing Rizzotte to come home from second. Ziemba raced around to score on the play as well, giving the Wildcats a 3-0 lead.
Rizzotte was again the catalyst for a run in the fifth, starting the inning with another single. After stealing second, Rizzotte scored as Doherty singled into center field. The Wildcats put the final touches on the score with two runs in the sixth, getting a run on a double steal and an infield RBI single by Rizzotte.
Botsch struck out the side in the second inning and added two more in the third. The senior was able to strand a runner in the fourth before Felician threatened in the sixth. The Golden Falcons put their first two on in the inning but Botsch induced a 5-3 double play for the first two outs of the inning. Botsch then finished off the home team with two more strikeouts in the seventh to improve to 8-5 on the year.
It was Lachette's turn in game two, as she quickly struck out a pair in the bottom of the first inning. That allowed the offense to strike in the top of the second.
Lachette helped her own cause with an RBI single to right, bringing in Kaitlyn Slater who led off the inning by getting hit by a pitch. With the bases loaded and one out, Doherty laced a double to left center, clearing the bases and giving the Wildcats a 4-0 lead. Lachette then retaliated with a 1-2-3 inning in the second, setting the tone for the game.
Lachette left a runner on in the third after a single and set the Golden Falcons down in order in the fourth to keep the score at 4-0 after four full.
The offense was at it again in the fifth as Ziemba singled to short to start the inning. Ashley Bennett doubled to right, chasing the speedy Ziemba around for the first run of the inning. Danielle Bradley later singled back up the middle, bringing in pinch runner Shannon McMahon for the 6-0 lead.
The Golden Falcons' best chance game in the bottom of the fifth, putting the first two runners on base. With runners on second and third with one out, Lachette induced an infield pop up and a ground out to escape the jam.
Lachette then left a one-out single on first base in the seventh, bringing the Wildcats' shutout streak to 30.2 consecutive innings. Lachette improved to 7-4 on the year with the win.
Doherty and Rizzotte collected three hits each in the first game while Ziemba and Bradley led the offense with two hits each in the nightcap.
The Wildcat pitching staff hasn't allowed a run since the seventh inning of game one against Goldey-Beacom on April 2. The staff and the team will put the streak on the line again tomorrow as they take on CACC leading Georgian Court at Asbury Field. The Wednesday doubleheader begins at 2:30 p.m.