NAPLES, Florida – The Wilmington College softball team swept a pair of games on the second day of its spring trip, defeating Nazareth College (New York) 9-1 and edging the State University of New York (SUNY) Canton 4-3 on Monday.
In game one, Wilmington sent eight batters to the plate in the first inning. After a pop up, Alecia Kemp singled up the middle which preceded walks by both Mariyah Burkhardt and Allison Pierce. Jillia Cook then delivered a two-RBI single through the right side with the bases loaded. KenDahl Bowles came up next and continued her offensive performance from yesterday with an RBI-single to right field that scored Pierce.
Starter Grace Shell sat down the first eight batters she faced including seven strikeouts and pitched out of a two-on, two-out jam in the bottom of the third. The Golden Flyers got to Shell in the fourth, however, turning two hits and two walks into a run. Nazareth left the bases loaded, however, as Shell's ninth strikeout ended the fourth with Wilmington on top 3-1.
In the top of the fifth, the table got set for Cook who once again delivered with a two-RBI single to left field. The Quakers would go on to plate two more runs, one unearned, using two Nazareth errors and lead 7-1 after five. Two innings later, two Wilmington runners crossed the plate on four hits including a two-RBI single from Bailey Smith.
Shell improved to 2-0 on the season allowing five hits with nine strikeouts in the complete-game victory. Gabriella Corasaniti took the loss allowing a dozen hits with four walks.
"We set the tone early in game one," Head Softball Coach Beth Floyd said. "That allowed Grace [Shell] to settle in, locate her pitches and change up her speeds."
In game two, an Alecia Kemp solo home run over the left field fence was the only run to cross the plate in the first two innings. The Kangaroos had a runner on third in both of those innings, but failed to score. The Quakers took advantage of two SUNY Canton errors to score a run in the bottom of the third on a Kemp RBI-single to double the lead. Wilmington looked to score more in the frame, but it was ended by a baserunning interference call.
A double to right center in the following inning got SUNY Canton on the board the game and the Kangaroos looked to jump ahead as Hunter Salyers relieved starter Hayley Suchland with one out and the bases loaded. Salyers got out of the jam allowing just one run. A scoreless bottom half of the fourth had the game tied 2-2 after four complete innings.
The Kangaroos did take the lead in the fifth, however, as a lead-off baserunner scored. The Quakers answered in the bottom half of the inning has Kemp delivered her third RBI-hit of the game, a single up the middle, that scored Micalah Hensley. SUNY Canton hit a lead-off double in the top of the sixth, but Alexis Stringfellow didn't allow the run to score. In the bottom of the sixth, Wilmington executed just as it did in the fifth. Pierce led off the inning with a double to left center and was bunted to third by Cook. Bowles then hit a go-ahead, RBI-single to center scoring Pierce and putting the Quakers up 4-3.
Stringfellow earned the win allowing two hits and no earned runs with on strikeout over two innings. Kayla Chavarri took the loss for the Kangaroos allowing three earned runs on seven hits in six innings.
Kemp finished 3-for-3 with a home run and three RBIs while Pierce added yet another multi-hit game. Hensley tallied a 1-for-3 game with two runs scored. Six different Kangaroos had a single hit in the game.
"Our team today demonstrated that they play for each other and they are conhesive unit," said Floyd. "That was never more apparent in game two when our pitching staff stepped up."
Wilmington (3-1) will face Kenyon College and Curry College tomorrow (Tuesday) at 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. respectively.