WILMINGTON, Ohio – The Wilmington College softball team fell to the University of Mount Union, ranked No. 15 in the most recent National Fastpitch Coaches' Association (NFCA) Top 15 Poll, in a pair of Ohio Athletic Conference (OAC) games by scores of 5-1 and 5-2 on Saturday afternoon.
In game one, Mount Union opened the scoring in the first. The first two Purple Raiders, Brooklyn Hellman and Grace Heath, reached base. After a sacrifice bunt advanced both a base, a sacrifice fly and two-out double scored the visitors two runs. Wilmington got one run back in the bottom of the first as Megan Crager drew a walk and alertly scored on a wild pitch, but Alexis French, after failing to get a bunt down, blasted a two-run home run over the left field fence in the top of the second.
Lindsey Carter relieved starter Sydney Harville after the two-run home run and allowed just one earned run on four hits over the final six innings, but the hosts, trailing 4-1 couldn't solve Peyton Morrison. The Purple Raiders' starter, who entered the game averaging less than a walk every two innings, gave six Quakers free bases via walks, but Morrison allowed just two hits. One of those hits was a double down the left field line from McKenna Archey in the bottom of the fourth that put two runners in scoring position. Unfortunately for Wilmington, Bailey Smith struck out to end the inning.
Morrison moved to 13-1 on the season with the complete-game victory while Harville took the loss allowing four earned runs on five hits in one-plus innings pitched.
Offensively, Heath, Allie Goldy and Payton Guspyt had multi-hit games for Mount Union while Archey and Andrea Edmisten each had a hit for Wilmington in defeat.
The nightcap began eerily similar to game one. Mount Union plated two runs in each of the first two innings for chased Wilmington starting pitching, Hayley Suchland, in the second. Alexis Stringfellow stopped further damage, however, as a flyout to left field left the bases loaded. Down 4-0, the Quakers got multiple runners on with less than two outs in the bottom half of the second, but a groundout and strikeout ended the inning.
The Purple Raiders added an insurance run in the top of the fifth, but the Quakers mounted a bit of rally in the bottom of the seventh. Carter and Alecia Kemp led off the inning with singles, and a Hadley groundout scored the host's first run. A wild pitch followed, putting Kemp on third, and Kemp scored on a Kylah Morrison RBI-groundout.
Rose tallied six strikeouts, including three looking, and scattered five hits over the complete-game victory. Suchland took the loss allowing four earned runs on six hits while recording four outs. Stringfellow pitched effectively for Wilmington, allowing just a single earned run in 5.2 innings.
For the Quakers offensively, Kemp finished 2-for-3 in defeat. Four Purple Raiders, Savannah Miner, Payton Guspyt, Heath and Hellman all had multi-hit games while the later tallying three stolen bases on the day.
Wilmington (16-18, 15-15 OAC) will face Mount Union in two games in Alliance tomorrow (Sunday).