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LAKEWOOD, N.J. - - The second seeded Wilmington University softball team bounced back from a first round loss to win an elimination game and stay alive in the 2018 Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference Tournament on Thursday afternoon at Georgian Court University.
Seventh seeded Holy Family scored three runs in the top of the seventh to tie the game before a solo home run in the top of the eighth stole a first round win from the Wildcats (36-16). Trailing 5-2 going to the bottom of the sixth, the Wildcats scored four runs in the sixth to save survive and advance to Friday in the CACC Tournament.
Game One vs. No. 7 Holy Family:
The Wildcats jumped out to an early lead over the Tigers, as they loaded the bases without recording an out in the bottom of the first. Annie Davila worked a walk to push in the first run before Lauren Lopez hit a sacrifice fly to bring in another for a 2-0 lead.
The Tigers got on the board with a three-run top of the fifth, bringing in two on an error and another RBI single.
Makayla McCarthy retaliated in the home half, launching a two-run homer to center field to give the Wildcats a 6-2 advantage.
Holy Family didn't rollover, however, firing back with a three-run seventh to tie the game. An error allowed the first run to come home before a single brought the score to 6-4. Another RBI single through the hole on the right side put the tying run on second base with only one out. Now with two outs, a blooper fell in front of the centerfielder, chasing the run home from second to tie the game.
The Wildcats went quietly in the bottom of the seventh and leading hitter Taylor Favinger blasted her 13th homer of the season with two outs in the top of the eighth to give the Tigers a 7-6 lead. The Wildcats went down in order in the bottom of the eighth to end the game.
Makayla McCarthy reached the 200-strikeout plateau for the season, punching out nine while allowing seven runs (three earned) on 10 hits. McCarthy is the second pitcher in program history, and the third time in program history, to reach 200 strikeouts in a season, joining Katie Warrington who did it in 2011 and 2013.
Rosa'Lynn Burton went 3-for-4 with a double and three runs scored while 2-for-4 with two RBI and a run scored.
Game Two vs. No. 6 Felician
The Wildcats didn't collect their first hit until the bottom of the third, scoring two runs to take a 2-1 lead. Alyssa Velasquez hit a two-out single to left center, scoring Olivia Carbone while Rosa'Lynn Burton scored on an error on a throw back into the infield.
But Felician's Nicole Spiegelberg hits a two-run homer and an RBI double to right plated three more runs for the Golden Falcons in the top of the fourth. Spiegeleberg did it again in the top of the sixth, launching a solo shot to left center to put Felician up, 5-2.
But the Wildcats came alive in the bottom of the sixth, as Annie Davila started a rally with a one-out single to left. Lacy Nealy followed with a single before Keara McCarthy loaded the bases by getting hit by a pitch. Jordyn Virden started the scoring with a two-run single to left. Now with two outs, Rosa'Lynn Burton bounced one back up the middle and through the infield, scoring Virden and Keara McCarthy to take a 6-5 lead.
Makayla McCarthy got the first two outs quickly in the top of the seventh, but an error and a single put the tying run on second base. McCarthy induced a fly ball to center field to end the game and keep the Wildcats alive, 6-5.
McCarthy earned the win in 1.2 innings of relief. Burton batted 2-for-3 with two RBI and a run scored. Annie Davila batted 2-for-3 while four other Wildcats collected one hit each.
The Wildcats will continue with elimination games on Friday, first playing fifth seeded Post on Field 2. The first pitch of the game is scheduled for 11:00 a.m.