Copyright 2016; Wilmington University. All rights reserved. Photo of Caitlyn Whiteside pitching on Military Appreciation Day against Felician, taken by Joseph Craig.
NEW CASTLE, Del. - - The strong arms of the Wilmington University softball pitching staff carried the team to a Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference doubleheader sweep, 3-1 and 1-0, over Felician on Saturday afternoon at Asbury Field.
The win allow the Wildcats (26-16, 20-2 CACC) to remain in first place in the CACC standings with one week remaining in the regular season. Felician (15-25, 8-14 CACC) also received a strong pitching performance from Ashley Owens in both games but left 13 runners on base in the doubleheader.
Freshman Caitlyn Whiteside allowed six hits but only gave up one run in five innings in the opener, giving the offense a chance to warm up.
The Wildcats finally got on the board in the fourth inning, using an error to propel the scoring. Danielle Bradley started the inning off with a bunt single to first before a pair of errors extended the inning. Kaitlyn Slater's contact went under the shortstop with two runners on, allowing Bradley to come around from second for the game's first run. Lexi Baughmn followed with a short humpback liner that spun out of the glove of a diving second baseman, allowing Colby Wyatt to come home for the 2-0 lead.
The Golden Falcons fought back in the top of the fifth however, as they received a leadoff single, a stolen base, and a double to left to cut the deficit in half, 2-1. But Whiteside honed in and induced a pop up, a ground out, and got a great running catch in right center by Becca Stanley to end the inning.
Brooklyn Lachette relieved Whiteside to start the top of the sixth before Wyatt gave the home team an insurance run to lead off the bottom of the sixth, blasting her fourth homer of season to dead center. Lachette shut down the Golden Falcons for her CACC leading fifth save and the game one win.
Bradley started in the circle for the Wildcats in game two, going the first three innings of shutout softball, only allowing two hits and a walk. The offense was once again slow to solve Owens, as she tossed both ends of the twin bill for the Golden Falcons. The Wildcats left a runner on base in each of the first three innings.
Wyatt again sparked the Wildcats in leading off the fourth inning, doubling off outstretched glove of the right fielder. Meghan Brown put runners on the corners with a push bunt to second, but it looks as though Owens was going to get out of the inning without any damage by picking up a foul out and a pop up to short. Slater stepped in and pulled one through the left side to score Wyatt, but Brown was gunned down at the plate trying to score the game's second run.
Lachette set the next sixth Felician batters down in order before starting off the top of the seventh with a walk. But the junior battled back to get the next three batters out, keeping the tying run on first base to end the game.
Wyatt and Rizzotte collected three hits on the day while Baughman went 2-for-2 with an RBI in game one. Lachette is now 7-6 in the circle and picked up her fourth save of the year in game one. Whiteside improved to 10-4 on the year with the game one win.
The Wildcats head to Dominican for a matchup of two of the top teams in the CACC on Sunday. The Wildcats are currently first in the standings with Dominican currently third (16-3). The first pitch is scheduled for 12:00 p.m. in Orangeburg, New York.