NAPLES, Florida - The Wilmington College softball team improved to 4-2 on the young 2018 season with a pair of wins on Wednesday, defeating Edgewood College 3-0 and Salem State University 9-6.
Grace Shell earned her second complete-game victory of the week, tallying eight strikeouts while scattering three hits and walking only two batters. An Eagle base runner reached third base just twice in the game.
In game one, the Fightin' Quakers would score in the second inning when Alecia Kemp, who led off the a single, advanced to third base via a sacrifice bunt from Kaylee Barber and a groundout from KenDahl Bowles. Kemp took home plate on a passed ball, sliding under the tag of Edgewood catcher, Sabrina Luedtke.
Wilmington got the lead-off runner on again in the third inning when Savannah Hooper singled. A walk and a hit by pitch that followed loaded the bases, and Micalah Hensley and Allison Pierce both delivered with RBI-singles to move each base runner up 90 feet. Edgewood was able to stem the bleeding, however, as a fielder's choice to home plate and a strikeout ended the threat.
The Eagles may have stopped the Quakers from scoring any more runs in the third, but Edgewood could not solve Shell, as the freshman would allow a single baserunner in the fourth and six down the opposition in order in the fifth and sixth innings. Wilmington looked to pad its lead in the sixth as Savannah Hooper got to third base with one out, but the Quakers couldn't drive her home as a strikeout and groundout ended the inning.
Still leading 3-0, Shell pitched around an error in the top of the seventh and stranded runners at second and third with a strikeout to preserve the shutout.
"Grace Shell did a great job keeping the Edgewood hitters off balance," Head Softball Coach Beth Floyd said.
Both teams combined for a dozen hits in the game, all of which were singles.
In game two, Salem State tagged Wilmington starter, Beth Periscano, with an earned run in each of the first three innings. The Quakers battled back, however, scoring a run of their own in the second, third and fourth innings on and RBI-double from Mariyah Burkhardt, an RBI single from Cook and a passed ball. Periscano sat down the Vikings in order in the bottom of the fourth to keep the game tied 3-3.
Salem State looked to get out of the top of the fifth inning as the first two batters were retired, but Wilmington put together a two-out rally. A hit by pitch, double from Hensley and a walk loaded the bases for Kemp, who was hit by a pitch to drive in the inning's first run. Burkhardt then delivered a two-RBI double and Kemp scored on a wild pitch the following at bat. In total in the inning, the Quakers plated four runs on two hits and drew to walks.
Wilmington scored two more runs in the sixth to take a 9-3 edge, but the Vikings began the bottom of the sixth with three hits. Periscano, with the help from her defense, got out of the inning allowing just two runs thanks to a double play and a groundout.
Trailing 9-5, Salem State plated a single run in the seventh on a wild pitch, but the tying run never got to the plate as a fielder's choice groundout gave Persicano the complete-game victory.
Salem State outhit Wilmington 12-8 in the contest, but the Quakers drew seven walks while Persicano walked no Vikings in the game. The senior improved to 2-2 with the victory, allowing five earned runs and striking out six.
Burdkhardt finished 2-for-4 with three RBIs with Savannah Hooper also had two hits and scored two runs. Cook was 1-for-2 with two RBIs and a walk while Kemp had a hit in her only at-bat, drew two walks and scored three runs.
"Alecia Kemp is the type of play that can make things happen, and she's off to a great start to her collegiate career," Floyd said. "Micalah Hensley is doing a great job at the plate and really seeing the ball well."
Wilmington (4-2) closed out its spring trip with two games tomorrow (Thursday). The Quakers will face Crown College at 9 a.m. followed by The State University of New York at Canton (SUNY Canton) at 11 a.m.