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LAKEWOOD, N.J. - - A pair of strong pitching efforts, on top of Annie Davila collecting eight RBI helped lead the No. 2 seeded Wilmington University softball team to a 2-0 record on the first day of the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference Tournament on Thursday afternoon on GCU Field #2.
GAME ONE vs. No. 7 Nyack:
The second seeded Wildcats faced off against No. 7 Nyack, scoring eight runs in four innings, riding the arm of CACC Pitcher of the Year Caitlyn Whiteside to the six-inning mercy-ruled game.
Speed led the Wildcats to the game's first run, as leadoff hitter Rosa'Lynn Burton walked, stole second, moved to third on a short fly ball to right, and then stole home on a throw back to the pitcher.
Whiteside set the Warriors down in order in the second and third, and Annie Davila began her outstanding in the third. With two outs and nobody on base, Alyssa Velasquez worked a walk before Lauren Lopez singled to center. Annie Davila stepped in and launched her seventh home run of the year to give the Wildcats a 4-0 lead.
A pair of unearned runs in the bottom of the fourth inning gave the Wildcats a 6-0 lead before Annie Davila was back at it again in the sixth. With the bases loaded and two outs, the junior catcher blooped one in between the second baseman and shortstop, nearly hitting the second base bag, before squirting away and allowing two runs to come in to force the 8-0 mercy-run game.
Whiteside went the distance in the game, striking out four while allowing only one hit and two walks. She improved to 18-8 on the year with the win.
GAME TWO vs. No. 3 Caldwell:
Another fast start set the Wildcats (36-12) apart from the Cougars (32-22), as Wilmington scored two in the bottom of the first before a four-run fifth had the Wildcats at ease.
Caldwell scored its first run on their first hot of the game in the top of the third, but the Wildcats answered with two more runs in the bottom of the third. Lauren Lopez laid down a successful squeeze bunt to score Kiana Broderson-Jones and Makayla McCarthy added to the lead with a single to the right field fence, giving the Wildcats a 4-1 lead.
After the Cougars scored a single run in the top of the fifth, the Wildcats put the game away in the bottom half. Rosa'Lynn Burton started the frame with a lead-off triple before Kiana Broderson-Jones knocked her in while reaching on an error. Davila made it three RBI on the game with a single up the middle before Alyssa Velasquez tripled down the left field line. Angela Antonini capped the frame with a single back up the middle, giving the Wildcats an 8-2 advantage.
Lauren Lopez added an RBI single to left in the sixth, finishing the scoring for a 9-2 lead.
McCarthy went the distance for the Wildcats, improving to 17-4 on the year with striking out two and allowing three walks, and two runs on three hits.
Broderson-Jones and Davila went 3-for-4 each as Broderson-Jones scored four runs and Davila knocked in three. Burton and Lopez added two hits each in the win.
The Wildcats advance to play top seed and host Georgian Court on Friday in the winner's bracket championship. The game will be played at 1:00 p.m. on Field 1.