Copyright 2016; Wilmington University. All rights reserved. Photo of Kaitlyn Slater's home run in game two taken by Frank Stallworth.
NEW CASTLE, Del. - - The strong pitching outings by Shannon Brantley and Caitlyn Whiteside were backed by the bats awakening in a nonconference doubleheader sweep of Pitt.-Johnstown, 5-1 and 10-0, on Tuesday afternoon at Asbury Field.
The pitchers each tossed complete games but it was the offense that shined through with 11 hits in each game. The Wildcats (8-12) used two-out magic in the opener to score their runs before breaking out for eight runs on eight hits in the second inning of game two to sweep Pitt.-Johnstown (3-10).
The Mountain Cats started out hot, scoring on an inside-the-park on the first pitch of the first game. But from there, it was all Wildcats.
Becca Stanley answered immediately for the Wildcats, starting the bottom of the first with a leadoff double. Now on third, Cambria Ziemba scored Stanley with a single over the head of the shortstop to tie the game, 1-1.
Stanley was involved again in the bottom of the second, as Taylor Rizzotte started a two-out rally with an infield single to the shortstop. Rizzotte quickly stole second base and Stanley singled through the left side to easily score Rizzotte for the 2-1 lead.
Brantley settled in and retired 12 of the next 14 batters through the fourth inning following the leadoff home run. The Wildcats bats took the game over in the fourth. Again with two outs and the bases empty, Rizzotte sparked the offense with a single over the third baseman. Stanley followed with a double inside the third base line and Jazmeen Llamas put the Wildcats ahead, 3-1, with a single through the left side. Ziemba added a pair of insurance runs with another two-run single to left center, bringing in both Stanley and Llamas.
An around the horn double play ended the top of the sixth and Brantley closed the door with a pair of strikeouts in the top of the seventh for the game one win.
Brantley improved to 2-0 on the year with the complete game, as she struck out six batter and only allowed four hits. Stanley led the Wildcats by going 3-for-4 with an RBI and two runs scored. Llamas went 2-for-2 with a run scored while Ziemba went 2-for-3 with three RBI. Rizzotte was the final Wildcat with multiple hits, going 2-for-3 with two runs scored.
Not to be outdone in the nightcap, Whiteside tossed a five-inning complete game shutout. After going 1-2-3 in the top of the first, the bats backed Whiteside right away in the home half.
With two outs and Llamas on second, Kailtyn Slater launched a two-run shot to deep left center to open the scoring. Whiteside then struck out the side in the top of the second, bringing the hot bats back to the plate.
The Wildcats sent 11 batters to the plate in the second frame, connecting on eight straight hits. Rizzotte beat out a safety squeeze for a bunt hit to score the first run before Llamas singled to left with the bases loaded for another run. Ziemba lined a shot off the pitcher's glove for an RBI single before Slater doubled to the wall in left to bring in Stanley and Llamas. Brantley added to her day with an RBI single before Meghan Brown capped the scoring with another RBI single to left, and all of a sudden the Wildcats led 10-0.
Whiteside worked out of the only trouble she found herself in with a fourth inning jam, getting a comebacker to the circle with runners on first and second. Whiteside went to third base for the force out before Slater flung the ball across the diamond for the 1-5-3 double play. Whiteside struck out the final batter to leave a runner on second.
The freshman closed out the game with three more strikeouts in the fifth inning, bringing her total to a season high 10 in the game. She only allowed three singles and a walk in the shutout.
Slater paced the offense in game two by going 2-for-3 with four RBI and two runs scored while Llamas and Colby Wyatt added two hits apiece.
The Wildcats have a quick turnaround as they return to Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference action on Wednesday afternoon. They head to Chestnut Hill for a doubleheader starting at 2:30 p.m.