PHILADELPHIA, Pa. - - The Wilmington University softball team took the field for the first time in 385 days and began the 2021 season with a Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference doubleheader sweep at USciences on Friday afternoon.
Molly Dill tossed a three-hit, complete game shutout, 7-0, in the opener before the Wildcats (2-0) hung on down the stretch to take a six-inning light shortened game two, 9-8.
Dill struck out five of the first nine batters, setting the Devils (0-4, 0-4 CACC) down in order in the first three innings. The first base runner to reach came in the bottom of the fourth, but the Devils left the runner on third. The Devils didn't get their first hit until two outs in the fifth inning.
Lopez added another RBI in the sixth as Haley Downin and Alyssa Velasquez also brought in runs on base hits, pushing the Wildcats' lead out to 7-0. Dill finished off the Devils by leaving two runners on in the seventh.
Dill picked up her first collegiate career victory after appearing in six games as a true freshman last year. She struck out seven with two walks.
The Wildcats scored all nine runs in a three-inning stretch, jumping out to a 9-1 lead. But the Devils answered with two in the fifth and fifth in the sixth to cut it to a one-run game. The game was called after the third out of the sixth and the tying run on second base.
Isabella Eleazar started the scoring with a two-out RBI single in the second. Lopez put down a safety squeeze and another run scored on an error in the third for the 3-0 lead. Lopez added another RBI in the fourth before Velasquez hit a two-run double, followed by a Downin RBI double and all of a sudden, the Wildcats were leading 9-1.
The Devils got to starter Alexandra Ballester in the fifth, as the first four batters collected hits and scored two runs. Renamarie Rocha came on and induced a 4-6-3 double play and then a comebacker to the circle to get out of the inning. But the Devils had back-to-back RBI singles in the sixth, and then with two outs, plated another run to get to within 9-6. A two-out, two-run double brought the Devils to within 9-8, but Rocha ended the frame with a strikeout, and ultimately the game.
Eleazar finished with two hits and an RBI while Lopex and Velasquez added two RBI each. With six RBI today, Lopez now has 110 career RBI, two away from tying the all-time program record set by Colby Wyatt.
The Wildcats take to the road once again tomorrow, as they battle CACC foe Felician in another conference doubleheader. The first pitch is slated for 12:00 p.m. at the Lyndhurst Recreation Complex.