DATE: April 26, 2012
LAKEWOOD, N.J. - - The record setting 2012 season came to a close on Thursday for the Wilmington University softball team as it dropped back-to-back games on the first day of the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference Tournament on Thursday afternoon on the campus of Georgian Court University.
Wilmington (26-25 overall), the tournament’s number four seed, fell to No. 5 Post, 6-1, in the first contest of the day before being eliminated by No. 8 Holy Family, 8-5, in the consolation bracket. The Wildcats won a program record 18 conference games this season to place fourth in the CACC standings and earn the fourth seed in the tournament.
In the opening round of the tournament against No. 5 Post, the Wildcats could not figure out Eagle starting pitcher Ashley Cummings, as they only managed four hits off the righty and not denting the scoreboard until the seventh inning.
After Wildcat starter Chelsea Botsch set the Eagles down in order in the top of the first, junior Shelby Thompson hit her first extra-base hit of the year in the Wildcats first at-bat to put a runner in scoring position with no outs. Now standing on third after a wild pitch and one out, Thompson would be left stranded 60 feet away as Cummings was able to get out of the inning.
The same could not be said for the Wildcats in the top of the second as Post scored first in the game, putting a two spot on the board early. Following a one out walk, the Eagles got back-to-back singles in the inning and scored on an overthrow for the 1-0 lead. The Eagles hit a sac fly in the next at-bat to grab a 2-0 lead and never looked back.
Berger hit a two-out double in the gap to left centerfield in the third, but Cummings worked out of the jam by getting Christin Headley on a ground out.
The Wildcats went quietly in the fourth and fifth innings, going down in order and did not get another base runner until Berger singled inside the third base bag in the sixth with one out. She moved up to second on a wild pitch, but Cummings was able to sneak her way out of the threat without any damage.
After Post put three runs up on the top of the fifth on an RBI double and a two-run home run by Christina Udris, the Eagles were in command of the first round game.
The Eagles added an insurance run in the top of the seventh before Kinsley Parker erased the shutout with a one out solo home run over the fence in left.
The loss dropped the Wildcats to the consolation bracket of the tournament, where they needed a win to stay alive.
Holy Family had other ideas, however, as they jumped out of the gates and took a 3-0 lead after the first half-inning, and grabbed a 6-0 lead after three and a half innings before the Wildcats knew what hit them.
But Wilmington would not lie down; however, as the Wildcats stormed back with five runs in their next two at-bats to make it a one run game.
Headley started the rally in the bottom of the fourth with a double to right center. Now on third and Jillian Stafford on second with one out, Rachel Painter singled into left field for the Wildcats’ first run of the game. Kristen Garvin reached on a fielders’ choice ground ball, but Stafford was able to come home to make it 6-2 after four innings.
After reliever Danielle Griffin tossed a scoreless fifth inning, Jess Hassman kept the comeback going by starting the inning with a single into center field. After Thompson moved her into scoring position on a sacrifice bunt, Berger lined a double down the left field line for and RBI. Headley worked a one-out walk to put two runners for Stafford and she delivered a double in the gap in right-center, scoring both runs to cut the deficit to 6-5. But the Tigers were able to tame the comeback, as the catcher threw out Stafford attempting to take third on the play, clearing the bases with two outs.
Holy Family retaliated with two runs of their own in the top of the sixth inning to stretch the margin back to three runs with six outs remaining. The Wildcats were unable to put another rally together with their final two at-bats of the game, going down in order in each frame. Berger squared the ball with two outs in the seventh, but the second baseman didn’t need to move to record the final out of the game and the Wildcats season.
Hassman led the Wildcats in the second game by going 2-for-3 with a run scored. Stafford tallied two RBI’s on the fifth inning double and went 1-for-2 for the game. Thompson, Berger, Headley and Painter accounted for the rest of Wilmington’s seven hits.
The loss was the last game for four Wildcats, as Amanda Crockett, Garvin, Hassman and Parker all donned the Green and White for the final time. They led the Wildcats to the CACC Tournament in three of their four years at Wilmington, earning the fourth seed in 2011 and again this year.
2012 CACC Softball Tournament at Georgian Court University
Thursday, April 26
Game 1 - #1 Dominican - 5 vs. #8 Holy Family – 4 (8 innings)
Game 2 - #2 Caldwell - 0 vs. #7 Felician – 8 (5 innings)
Game 3 - #3 Georgian Court - 2 vs. #6 Bloomfield – 8
Game 4 - #4 Wilmington - 1 vs. #5 Post – 6
Game 5 – # 8 Holy Family -8 vs. #4 Wilmington – 5
Game 6 – #2 Caldwell -2 vs. #3 Georgian Court -4
Game 7 – #1 Dominican -11 vs. #5 Post -3 (6 innings)
Game 8 – # 7 Felician -2 vs. #6 Bloomfield 4
Friday, April 27
Game 9 – #8 Holy Family vs. #7 Felician – Noon – Field 1
Game 10 – #3 Georgian Court vs. #5 Post – Noon – Field 2
Game 11 – #1 Dominican vs. #6 Bloomfield – 2:00 pm – Field 1
Game 12 – Holy Family/Felician vs. Georgian Court/Post – 2:00 pm – Field 2