MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. - - The Wilmington University softball team split Saturday's games at the Snowbird Softball Freeze Out Tournament at Grand Park, falling to Lock Haven, 5-1, before capturing their first victory of the season, 7-6, against Merrimack.
The Wildcats (1-3) were locked with a tight one throughout the day's first game against Lock Haven (1-2) before the Bald Eagles broke it open in the top of the seventh with three runs. Merrimack (1-3) fought back to tie the game in the top of the sixth, but the Wildcats squeezed home the go-ahead run in the bottom half before recording the final three outs.
Brooklyn Lachette worked out of a first inning bases loaded jam by only allowing one run, but that lead would hold for the rest of the game. The Wildcats' bats couldn't solve the pitching of Lock Haven's Rachel Mouillesseaux. The Wildcats collected a pair of singles from Danielle Bradley and Becca Stanley in the second, but left one runner on without really posing a threat. Their next hit wouldn't come until the fifth inning.
The Eagles tacked on a run in the fifth while the Wildcats only mustered two out bases empty hits in the fifth and sixth innings, respectively. Lock Haven added three insurance runs on four hits in the top of the seventh before Colby Wyatt doubled in Stanley for the Wildcats lone run in the bottom half.
Stanley and Wyatt each went 2-for-3 in the game, with Wyatt collecting a pair of doubles and an RBI. Lachette fell to 0-2 on the year after throwing six innings, striking out three, but allowing five runs on seven hits.
The nightcap was a back-and-forth affair against the Warriors, with Merrimack jumping out to a 2-0 lead after the first two innings. The Wildcats would strike big in the bottom of the second.
Bradley led of the inning with a double before Stanley's walk had runners on first and third. Stanley stole second and drew the throw, allowing Bradley to sneak home for the first run. Shannon Brantley doubled down the left field line to score both Stanley and Lexi Baughman for the 3-2 lead, and then Brantley scored to make it 4-2 on a field error off the bat of Jazmeen Llamas.
The lead wouldn't hold long however, as the Warriors answered with a three-run homer following an error which kept the inning alive.
An error in the fourth allowed the Wildcats to tie the game again, as pinch runner Sarah Coyne came around to score on a throwing error on a sac bunt by Baughman. Baughman then came around to score on a wild pitch, again giving the Wildcats the lead, 6-5.
The Warriors again knotted the game with an RBI single in the top of the sixth, but Stanley started the home half of the frame with a double to set up the Wildcats. Wyatt moved Stanley over to third on a sacrifice and Baughman's bunt single brought home Stanley for the 7-6 lead.
Lachette, in a relief role since the fourth inning, put the tying run on first to lead off the inning but picked up a big strikeout with the runner in scoring position. Lachette finished off the win with a comebacker to the mound.
Llamas batted 2-for-3 in the win while Brantley secured two RBI. Lachette picked up her first win of the win in four innings pitched, allowing one run on two hits and recording one strikeout.
The Wildcats are back in action on Sunday, as they have two more games in Myrtle Beach to close out their opening weekend. The team will face Mansfield in the opener before taking on Molloy in the finale starting at 10 a.m.