Copyright 2016; Wilmington University. All rights reserved.
CLERMONT, Fla. - - The Wilmington University softball team closed out its annual trip to the National Training Center with losses to Minot State, 10-1 (5 inn.), and American International, 5-1, on Thursday afternoon.
The Wildcats (3-11) jumped out in front with early runs in each game, but Minot State (7-4) and AIC (2-4) responded with big innings to take the lead and steal momentum in the games on Thursday.
Taylor Rizzotte and Jazmeen Llamas singled to lead of the game against Minot State, and were standing on second and third as Cambria Ziemba stood at the plate. Ziemba executed a squeeze bunt to score Rizzotte, putting the Wildcats ahead, 1-0. But the Wildcats couldn't score Llamas from third, as the Beavers induced a pop up and a foul out to end the inning.
The lead didn't last for long for the Wildcats, as the Beavers retaliated with five runs in the bottom of the first, hitting a two-run double followed by another double to take a 3-1 lead. A single down the right field line brought in the fourth run before a sacrifice fly finished the scoring in the inning, putting the Beavers ahead 5-1.
Brooklyn Lachette and Ziemba doubled in the second and third innings, respectively, but both Wildcats were left stranded on base. The Beavers kept momentum with another big inning in the fourth, scoring four runs on four hits, opening a 9-1 lead.
The Wildcats went quietly in the fourth and the Beavers added a run in the bottom half to force the Wildcats to score at least two runs in the fifth to stay alive. Rizzotte walked and Llamas reached on an infield single with two outs, but the Beavers induced a comebacker to the rubber to end the game, 10-1.
Llamas led the Wildcats by going 2-for-3 while Ziemba and Lachette each added doubles. Danielle Bradley took the loss after allowing five runs on four hits in 0.1 innings pitched in the first inning.
The offense again scored first against AIC, taking a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the second. Becca Stanley hit a one out triple to set the stage before Caitlyn Whiteside executed the squeeze bunt to bring her home.
Whiteside only allowed three hits through the first three innings, but the Yellow Jackets got to the freshman in the top of the fourth. A one out double scored the first run before another single gave AIC the lead, 2-1. A third straight hit brought home another run for the Yellow Jackets, before back-to-back errors allowed the Yellow Jackets to take a 5-1 lead.
The Wildcats didn't get another hit until the bottom of the sixth inning, as Lachette and Meghan Brown came up with back-to-back one-out singles. But AIC settled in and recorded back-to-back strikeouts to get out of the jam.
Whiteside fell to 1-3 on the year with the loss, tossing 3.1 innings while allowing five runs (two earned) on six hits. Shannon Brantley tossed the final 3.2 innings, only allowing one hit and striking out five.
The Wildcats return north but have a quick turnaround, as they prepare to open their Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference slate with a doubleheader against Bloomfield on Saturday. The team's CACC and home opener is set for a 12:00 p.m. first pitch at Asbury Field.