The 2015 Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference Softball Tournament begins on Thursday at Georgian Court University with Wilmington earning the No. 3 seed squaring off against No. 6 Felician at 12 p.m. on Field 1.
The CACC Tournament features the top eight teams throughout the regular season in a double elimination type tournament, with the winner being crowned on Saturday, May 2. The CACC Tournament winner earns an automatic bid into the NCAA Division II East Region Tournament.
The Wildcats (31-14, 19-7 CACC) are the defending champions, winning their first CACC Tournament in 2014 as the No. 5 seed.
All games scheduled for Field 1 will be video streamed via College TV Ticket. Links for the broadcast can be found on the CACC Softball website at http://www.caccathletics.org/sports/sball/index. Live Stats will also be available during select games, with the links to be determined. Tune back in to www.wilmu.edu/athletics, Facebook, or on Twitter for that games' Live Stat link.
Scouting the No. 3 Wilmington University Wildcats:
The Wildcats finished the regular season with their best win percentage (.689), tying their best finish in the standings and earning a No. 3 seed in the tournament. The Wildcats placed five members on the All-CACC teams, finishing with a league best four on the First Team.
As a team, the Wildcats lead the CACC in a multitude of categories including runs (258), hits (392), doubles (74), triple (17), home runs (26), RBI (225), extra base hits, (117), total bases (578), and stolen bases (82). The team is also second in batting average (.322), on-base percentage (.377), and slugging percentage (.475).
The pitching staff isn't short on accolades as a team as well, leading the CACC in ERA (2.03) and shutouts (16), as well as finishing second with hitters batting .234 off the pitchers.
Seniors Chelsea Botsch and Kelsey Doherty, junior Cambria Ziemba, and freshman Danielle Bradley were named First Team All-CACC while sophomore Colby Wyatt was named Second Team All-CACC earlier this week.
Botsch leads the staff with a 17-5 record, appearing in 29 games and throwing 137.1 innings on the year. She leads the CACC in wins and shutouts (8), and is second in strike outs (155), strikeouts per seven innings (7.90), and ERA (1.63). She has a 0.59 ERA against CACC opponents, best in the league.
Doherty leads the offense with a CACC best 20 doubles and 94 total bases, slugging a CACC second best .667 on the year. She's 11th in the CACC with a .383 batting average. Ziemba is second in the CACC with 55 hits and 37 runs and third in stolen bases (18) while hitting .379 on the year, 12th best in the CACC.
Miranda Pedersen is third in the CACC with seven home runs while Ashley Bennett has come on strong down the stretch, hitting five home runs in the month of April. Pedersen is 10th in the CACC with 28 RBI while Doherty leads the team and is fourth in the CACC with 35.
Scouting the No. 6 Felician College Golden Falcons
The Golden Falcons are making their eighth playoff appearance but its first since the 2012 season. Felician tied the school record for conference wins en route to a sixth-place finish. The Golden Falcons are seeking their first conference championship.
As a team, the Golden Falcons offense has ranked in the top half of the league all season. They boast a .276 team batting average (7th in CACC), a .367 on-base percentage (3rd), and a .393 slugging percentage (5th). They are third in the CACC in stolen bases (49), fourth in runs (199), triples (12), home runs (18), RBI (182), and extra base hits (73), and fifth with 43 doubles. However, the Golden Falcons are second in the league in striking out 144 times.
The pitching staff boasts a 4.04 team ERA, ninth best in the CACC. They have four shutouts on the year and hitters are batting .321 off the team this season.
The Golden Falcons had one player voted to the All-CACC teams earlier this week, as first baseman Ciera Clark was named First Team All-CACC for the second year in a row. Both Clark and corner infield mate Taylor Parker are tied for the Felician all-time hits lead. Clark tops the CACC in home runs (8), RBI (37), and on-base percentage (.508), while Parker is hitting a .325 with two homers and 31 RBI.
Thursday will be the 28th meeting between the two programs since the Wildcats joined the NCAA ranks for the 2005 season. The Wildcats have taken the past four meetings against the Golden Falcons, sweeping the 2014 and 2015 regular season series.
The Wildcats currently hold an 18-9 advantage against the Golden Falcons, including a 3-1 lead against Felician in the CACC Tournament. The teams last played in the CACC Tournament in 2011, as the fourth seeded Wildcats defeated the eighth seeded Golden Falcons, 7-5, in the losers' bracket on day one. The teams also faced each other in the CACC Tournament in 2005, and twice in 2007.
All-Time in CACC Tournament:
It is the ninth time in the past 11 seasons the Wildcats earned a spot in the CACC Tournament.
Since joining the ranks of the NCAA in 2005, the Wildcats have only missed two CACC Tournaments (2006 and 2010). The Wildcats have won two games in the double-elimination tournament on three separate occasions (2007, 2011, and 2012). The Wildcats captured their first CACC Tournament Championship in 2014, going a perfect 4-0 as the fifth seed in the tournament. They have an overall record of 11-14 in eight CACC Tournaments, going 4-0 last season.
Season Series and All-Time vs. CACC Tournament Participants:
#1 Caldwell University Cougars: 2015 – W 1-0/L 4-8; All-Time: 7-23; CACC Tournament: 1-6
#2 Dominican College Chargers: 2015 – L 6-8/L 2-4; All-Time: 8-17; CACC Tournament: 0-1
#3 Wilmington University Wildcats:
#4 Post University Eagles: 2015 – W 6-0/W 1-0; All-Time: 15-10; CACC Tournament: 2-1
#5 Holy Family University Tigers: 2015 – L 1-2/L 1-2; All-Time: 10-16; CACC Tournament: 2-2
#6 Felician College Golden Falcons: 2015 – W 6-0/W 6-0; All-Time: 18-9; CACC Tournament: 3-1
#7 Bloomfield College Bears: 2015 – W 13-3/L 2-3; All-Time: 18-5; CACC Tournament: 1-0
#8 Georgian Court University Lions: 2015 – W 4-0/W 4-0; All-Time: 12-12; CACC Tournament: 1-1
2015 CACC Softball Tournament Game Schedule:
Thursday, April 30
Game 1 - #1 Caldwell vs. #8 Georgian Court – 10:00 a.m. – Field 1
Game 2 - #2 Dominican vs. #7 Bloomfield – 10:00 a.m. – Field 2
Game 3 - #3 Wilmington vs. #6 Felician – 12:00 p.m. – Field 1
Game 4 - #4 Post vs. #5 Holy Family – 12:00 p.m. – Field 2
Game 5 – Game 1 loser vs. Game 4 loser – 2:00 p.m. – Field 1
Game 6 – Game 2 loser vs. Game 3 loser – 2:00 p.m. – Field 2
Game 7 – Game 1 winner vs. Game 4 winner – 4:00 p.m. – Field 1
Game 8 – Game 2 winner vs. Game 3 winner – 4:00 p.m. – Field 2
Friday, May 1
Game 9 – Game 5 winner vs. Game 8 loser – 11:00 a.m. – Field 1
Game 10 – Game 6 winner vs. Game 7 loser – 11:00 a.m. – Field 2
Game 11 – Game 7 winner vs. Game 8 winner – 1:00 p.m. – Field 1
Game 12 – Game 9 winner vs. Game 10 winner – 1:00 p.m. – Field 2
Game 13 – Game 12 winner vs. Game 11 loser – 3:00 p.m. – Field 1
Saturday, May 2
Game 14 – Game 11 winner vs. Game 13 winner – 11:00 a.m. – Field 1
Game 15 – (If nec.) Game 14 winner vs. Game 14 loser – 1:00 p.m. – Field 1