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Softball Opens 2019 Season with 4-2 Victory over Defending National Champion Southern Indiana

Copyright 2019; Wilmington University. All rights reserved. Photo of Caitlyn Whiteside pitching against Southern Indiana. Photo by MaryKate Rumbaugh. March 3, 2019 vs. Southern Indiana.
Copyright 2019; Wilmington University. All rights reserved. Photo of Caitlyn Whiteside pitching against Southern Indiana. Photo by MaryKate Rumbaugh. March 3, 2019 vs. Southern Indiana.

Clermont, Fla. - - The Wilmington University softball team started its 2019 season on the right foot, defeating defending NCAA DII National Champion Southern Indiana, 4-2, on Sunday at the National Training Center.

The offense struck early for the Wildcats (1-0) and led 3-0 after the top of the sixth. Southern Indiana (7-7) struck with two in the bottom of the sixth, but the Wildcats added an insurance run in the seventh and Caitlyn Whiteside finished off the defending national champions.

Lauren Lopez started the Wildcats off with an early 1-0 lead in the top of the first, coming through with a two-out double to left center to score Kiana Broderson-Jones from second.

Caitlyn Whiteside left single runners on in the first and third innings, but sailed through the first four frames. Makayla McCarthy came on for the fifth and left two runners on, allowing the Wildcats to get back to work in the top of the sixth.

With runners on second and third with no outs, Annie Davila singled down the left field line to plate Alyssa Velasquez for the 2-0 lead. Now with runners on second and third and one out, Lexi Baughman grounded out to first to allow Alexis Sann to score from third for the 3-0 lead.

Those runs would prove to be useful for the Wildcats, as the Screaming Eagles hit a two-out, two-run single to center.

Looking for an insurance run, Jazmeen Llamas singled up the middle to start the top of the seventh. Alyssa Velasquez hit a two-out single up the middle, scoring Broderson-Jones from second to take a 4-2 lead.

Whiteside came back in to pitch in the bottom of the seventh, quickly getting the first two batters out. After an infield single, Whiteside induced a fly ball to right to end the game, 4-2.

Rosa'Lynn Burton, Kiana Broderson-Jones, and Lauren Lopez all went 2-for-4 on the day, with Broderson-Jones scoring two runs. Alyssa Velasquez, Lopez, Annie Davila, and Lexi Baughman all had one RBI.

The Wildcats return to action on Monday with another tough matchup, playing against nationally ranked No. 14 Grand Valley State to start the day. They will then face off against 2017 National Champion Minnesota State Mankato in the second game on Monday. The first pitch is scheduled for 9:00 a.m. on Monday against GVSU.