WILMINGTON, Ohio - The Wilmington College softball team swept an Ohio Athletic Conference (OAC) doubleheader with John Carroll University on Monday, coming from behind to defeat the Blue Streaks 2-1 in game one and taking game two 9-4.
The sweep was the Fightin' Quakers first of the Blue Streaks at home in over a decade.
In game one, JCU got on the board in the first inning as Lindsay McKnight singled, stole second and crossed home plate after a Wilmington error with two outs. The Blue Streaks would get a runner to second base with two outs in the similar fashion in the third and fourth innings, but Quaker starter Grace Shell stranded both with fly outs.
Wilmington's offense finally got going in the bottom of the seventh as Mariyah Burkhardt singled up the middle. The Quakers couldn't execute the sacrifice is Micalah Hensley popped up a bunt attempt, but back-to-back singles from KenDahl Bowles and Kennedy Clifton loaded the bases. Megan Crager then delivered a game-tying, RBI-single to center field scoring Kaylee Barber. The next batter, Hayley Suchland, hit a groundball to second base, which was bobbled, allowing Bowles to beat them throw for a walk-off victory.
Shell, who was named the OAC Pitcher of the Week an hour before the game, improved to 7-1 on the season allowing just three hits to go along with three strikeouts in the complete-game win. Jenn Patterson took the loss for JCU allowing one earned run on seven hits with four strikeouts.
Offensively, Burkhardt and Bowles both had multi-hit performances for Wilmington while McKnight turned in a 2-for-3 performance for JCU.
In game two, the Blue Streaks once again scored a run in the top of the first as Miranda Noday and Crista Nativio opened the game with hits and McKnight hit Noday home with a sacrifice fly. The game, however, it wouldn't take the Quakers long to answer as the hosts put together five hits to score three runs in the third including a two-RBI single from Suchland and a bunt single that scored a run from Jillia Cook. JCU would get a run back in the fourth on an RBI-double from Emma Gurley, but another RBI-hit from Suchland which was followed by one from Alecia Kemp in the bottom of the inning pushed Wilmington's lead back up to 5-2.
After a 1-2-3 inning in the top of the fifth, the hosts batted around in the bottom half including RBI-hits from Shelby Raby, Suchland and Kemp as well as a sacrifice fly to Bowles. JCU would plate two runs in the sixth, but an 8-3-2 outfield assist at home plate ended the threat and locked the game up for Wilmington.
Alexis Stringfellow improved to 5-1 on the season with the win allowing two earned runs on six hits in 5.1 innings pitched. Shell came in to record the final five outs. Jessica Cook dipped to 4-5 on the year for JCU allowing five earned runs on 10 hits in 3.2 innings.
Wilmington outhit JCU 15-8 in the win including a 4-for-4 performance with four RBIs and two runs scored from Suchland. Kemp, Cook and Raby all had two hits.
Noday and Gurley each had two hits for JCU in defeat.
Wilmington (14-4, 2-2 OAC) heads to Ohio Northern University for a two-games series tomorrow (Tuesday) beginning at 3 p.m.