A walk-off win in the nightcap spoiled a sweep for the Wilmington University softball team as it split at Bloomfield, 13-3 and 2-3, in Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference action on Saturday afternoon at Clarks Pond South.
Leading 2-0 going into the bottom of the seventh, the Wildcats (29-14, 17-7 CACC) had the sweep taken from them as the Bear (23-19-1, 13-13 CACC) scored three runs on three hits to take the nightcap, 3-2.
The offense came to play in the first game on Saturday, as a pair of Wildcats was having a personal home run derby contest. Junior Ashley Bennett hit three home runs in hitting 3-for-4 while sophomore Colby Wyatt smashed two home runs by hitting 2-for-2. Bennett collected five RBI in the win while Wyatt added three RBI.
Already leading 2-0 in the third inning, the Wildcats put a four spot on the board, aided by Bennett and Wyatt's first homers of the game. With two outs and the bases empty, Bennett launched a solo shot for the first run of the inning before Wyatt hit a two-run shot two batters later to make 5-0. Michelle Panasiti tripled before being brought in by Becca Stanley for the 6-0 lead after three at-bats.
Bennett hit her second homer of the game in the fourth inning, a two-run shot that brought in Cambria Ziemba. Not wanting to be outdone, Wyatt later hit a solo shot in the fourth, giving the Wildcats a 9-0 lead after four at-bats.
Danielle Bradley singled in the fifth to bring in a pair right before Bennett launched her third homer of the game, a two-run shot to cap the scoring in the opening game.
Bennett's three home runs is a single game record for the Wildcats, dating back to when the Wildcats joined the NCAA ranks for the 2005 season.
Senior Chelsea Botsch was cruising towards another complete game shutout but that came to a screeching halt with one out to go in the bottom of the fifth. After allowing a pair of singles to start the inning, Botsch picked up a pair of strikeouts to get to within a final out. The Bears finally broke the scoreless streak set by Botsch with a three-run home run before Botsch struck out the final batter of the game.
Botsch had thrown eight straight complete game shutouts coming into Saturday. With the 4.2 scoreless innings she threw at Bloomfield, she ran her scoreless streak to 52.1 consecutive innings without giving up a run. The NCAA Division II record for consecutive shutouts in a season was 10-straight, set by St. Cloud State pitcher Karissa Hoehn in 2000. Lock Haven's Kristin Erb tossed 86.2 consecutive scoreless innings to set a NCAA Division II record in 2008.
The Wildcats got on the board in the top of the first inning in game two, getting a leadoff double by Kelsey Doherty. Still at second with two outs, Doherty came around to score on a Bennett single, giving the Wildcats the 1-0 lead.
Doherty was at it again in the top of the fifth inning, leading off the inning with a solo shot, giving the Wildcats a 2-0 lead.
Game two starter Brooke Lachette worked out of jams in the second and sixth innings to keep the Bears off the board, leaving two runners on in each frame. The sophomore wouldn't be so lucky in the seventh.
The Bears' rally started with one out and the bases empty, as they collected a hit and two walks to load the bases. Another single brought in one run before Kirsten Wilson walked-off the win with a two-run single.
Doherty, Bradley, Bennett, and Stanley each had two hits in the nightcap, but the Wildcats left nine runners on base while only scoring two runs.
Botsch improved to a CACC best 15-5 with the win while Lachette fell to 11-7 on the year with the game-two loss.
The Wildcats wrap up the 2015 regular season on Sunday, as they head to Concordia for their final CACC doubleheader prior to the CACC Tournament. After Saturday's split, the Wildcats are currently in third place in the CACC. First pitch on Sunday is scheduled for 1 p.m.