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Wildcats Drop Pair of Close Games to No. 14 Grand Valley State and Minnesota State in Florida

Copyright 2019; Wilmington University. All rights reserved. Photo by Erin Harvey and Mary Kate Rumbaugh. March 4, 2019 vs. Minnesota St. Mankato at Clermont, Florida.
Copyright 2019; Wilmington University. All rights reserved. Photo by Erin Harvey and Mary Kate Rumbaugh. March 4, 2019 vs. Minnesota St. Mankato at Clermont, Florida.

Press Release Written by Sports Information Graduate Intern MaryKate Rumbaugh

CLERMONT, Fla. – In their first doubleheader of the season, the Wilmington University softball team fell short to nationally ranked No. 14 Grand Valley State, 4-0, and Minnesota St. Mankato, 3-2, at the National Training Center on Monday.

Game One vs. Grand Valley State

It was a pitcher's duel between the Wildcats (1-2) and Lakers as Caitlyn Whiteside threw five innings, allowing only two hits. It wasn't until the fourth inning the Wildcats got their first hit of the game, as Rosa'Lynn Burton laid down a bunt to start the inning. Burton would steal second to put the Wildcats in scoring position, but the Wildcats would go down swinging to end the inning.

Grand Valley State found themselves a spark, as they started off the bottom of the sixth inning on a bunt single. The Lakers would score the first run of the game on a single up the middle, before a three-run home run would give them a 4-0 advantage over the Wildcats going into the top of the seventh. Whiteside went six innings, allowing seven hits and four earned runs with four strikeouts and only two walks. Wilmington would get one more chance in the top of the seventh, but would only get one hit from Lauren Lopez before the Lakers ended the game on a strikeout.

Burton, Lopez, and Annie Davila each got a hit for the Wildcats, but they would drop their first game of the season to the No. 14 team in the country.

Game Two vs. Minnesota State Mankato

Looking to bounce back from the loss, the Wildcats got out to a fast start in the second inning as Makayla McCarthy started the inning on a walk. Lexi Baughman would lay down a bunt to advance pinch-runner Alexis Sann to second. Catcher Angela Antonini was next to help the Wildcats, as she singled to the third baseman, which took a helpful bounce for the Wildcats to score Sann and give the Wildcats a 1-0 lead.

McCarthy would go three innings without giving up a hit, before the Mavericks got their first two hits of the game in the bottom of the fourth. A double down the left field line would put a runner on third for the Mavericks, but a pop out to Lexi Baughman would give the Wildcats two outs. A single to left field, though, would give Minn. St. a run and tie the game at one. Threatening to score again with a runner on third, Makayla McCarthy would end the inning with a strikeout.

Neither team would get a hit after the fourth inning, forcing an extra inning with the international tiebreaker enforced. Kiana Broderson Jones would start on second for the Wildcats as Alyssa Velasquez laid down a sacrifice bunt to advance Broderson to third. On a fly out to left field, Lauren Lopez would give Broderson the chance to tag up, forcing a throw to home, but Broderson would be called safe due to obstruction from the Mavericks' catcher, giving WilmU a 2-1 lead into the bottom of the eighth.

With a runner on first and third, Minnesota State would score on a pass ball, before a single up the middle would score the game winner for Mavericks, 3-2.

Makayla McCarthy would go 7.2 innings, allowing six hits and three runs, with two walks and three strikeouts. McCarthy and Angela Antonini would have both hits for the Wildcats, as Lauren Lopez and Antonini had an RBI each. The Wildcats would leave eight on base during the game.

Next Up:

The Wildcats head to No. 9 Florida Tech on Tuesday for a doubleheader with the Panthers. Game one is set for 1 p.m. with the second game following at 3 p.m.