Copyright 2016; Wilmington University. All rights reserved. File photo of Caitlyn Whiteside against Pitt.-Johnstown taken by Frank Stallworth.
PHILADELPHIA, Pa. - - Behind the pitching of freshman Caitlyn Whiteside and a pair of home runs, the Wilmington University softball team swept a Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference doubleheader, 5-1 and 5-4, on the road at Chestnut Hill on Wednesday afternoon.
Whiteside tossed the final two innings to save the game for Danielle Bradley in the opener, before picking up the win in the nightcap in throwing the final 2.1 innings. The Wildcats (10-12, 5-1 CACC) have now won seven of the last eight games overall.
Junior Colby Wyatt started the scoring for the Wildcats in the second inning of the opener, blasting a three-run shot to left for her first home run of the season. Bradley didn't allow a hit until the third inning, but left the runner at third base.
The Griffins (5-21, 3-3 CACC) threatened in the fourth, putting two runners on with one out. A wild pitch moved both runners into scoring position, but Bradley induced a grounder to get out of the jam. Chestnut Hill broke the ice in the fifth with a single run, scoring on a wild pitch after a leadoff single.
Whiteside replaced Bradley to start the bottom of the sixth and set the Griffins down in order. That allowed Shannon Brantley to give the Wildcats a 4-1 lead with a solo homer to left center before Taylor Rizzotte knocked in Cambria Ziemba with a two-out single for another insurance run.
Whiteshite then left a one-out error on first base in the bottom of the seventh to earn the save. Bradley improved to 3-5 with the win while Wyatt led the team with two hits and three RBI.
The bats stayed hot in the nightcap, as the Wildcats jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the top of the first. Becca Stanley and Ziemba started the game with back-to-back singles before Ziemba scored the game's first run on a wild pitch and a throwing error. Wyatt then remained hot at the plate with an RBI single through the right side to score Kaitlyn Slater.
But the Griffins answered right back with two runs in the bottom of the first inning, tying the game, 2-2. The Wildcats came right back in the second, however, scoring on a two-out error and a double steal with runners on first and third.
Chestnut Hill fought back to tie the game in the bottom of the fifth, putting a leadoff runner on third with two outs. An infield single scored the tying run, 4-4.
The offense left a runner on in the sixth inning but got back-to-back singles to start the seventh. Ziemba advanced to third base but the trailing runner was out at second for the second out of the inning. Brantley followed with a clutch RBI single through the right side, giving the Wildcats the 5-4 lead.
Whiteside walked the leadoff batter of the bottom half of the seventh but ended the game with back-to-back strikeouts, leaving the tying run on second.
Ziemba went 4-for-4 in the nightcap, scoring three runs. Brantley went 2-for-4 while also pitching 3.1 innings of relief. Whiteside improved to 3-3 with the win, tossing the final 2.1 innings while recorded four strikeouts.
The Wildcats remain in the CACC but return home to Asbury Field for their next contest. Holy Family comes to town in a remake from March 15. The first game is slated for 12:00 p.m.