NEW CASTLE, Del. - - Asbury Field was the site of an NCAA softball game for the first time since Saturday, May 11, 2019, as the Wilmington University softball team split a Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference doubleheader with Caldwell on Tuesday.
The Wildcats (4-2, 4-2 CACC) scored three runs in the bottom of the fourth to take game one, 4-2, but four errors and miscues on the basepaths allowed Caldwell (3-1, 3-1 CACC) to take game two, 6-4.
The Wildcats put their leadoff runners aboard in the first two innings, but the Cougars were able to get out of the inning unharmed. Caldwell turned their leadoff walk in the top of the third into two runs, getting three hits in the inning as well.
Danielle Hess walked with one out to start the bottom of the third. Sara Miller beat out a bunt and Courtney Dellinger walked to load the bases. Annie Davila put the ball in play, but only for an RBI groundout and the Wildcats' first run. Caldwell escaped any further damage as Lauren Lopez grounded out to short to end the inning.
Alyssa Velasquez started the fourth with a leadoff double and Haley Downin made it first and third with no one out with a single. A baserunning misjudgment produced the first out between third and home, but the Cougars gave the Wildcats a run on an error on the next play. The catcher threw behind the runner at first and Downin took off for third. The throw from first to third sailed high and Downing trotted home to tie the game, 2-2.
Now with two outs, Danielle Hess picked up her first collegiate career hit, adding an RBI while at it, with a double over the head of the center fielder. Sara Miller then followed with an RBI single back up the middle, giving the Wildcats a 4-2 lead.
Haley Downin set the Cougars down in order in the fifth and worked around a leadoff walk in to the sixth. After a leadoff walk in the seventh, Alexandra Ballester came on picked up the final three outs for the save.
It was Downin's first collegiate career win in the circle while also being Ballester's first career save. Sara Miller went 3-for-3 with an RBI to lead the offense.
Lauren Lopez answered a Caldwell run in the top of the first with an RBI double in the bottom of the first to tie the game, 1-1. Then it was Annie Davila's turn with an RBI double in the bottom or the third, giving the home team the early 2-1 lead.
Caldwell tied the game in the top of the fourth inning and then took the lead in the top of the fifth. Alyssa Velasquez dropped a pop up which loaded the bases and the Cougars answered with a two-run single. Now with two outs, an error allowed a third run to come home in the inning.
Annie Davila hit another double in the home half of the fifth, plating two to get to within 5-4, but then wandered off second on a fly ball with only one out for the easy double play.
Velasquez was then on second with no outs in the sixth, but Cougar starter Kayla Daly struck out three consecutive batters to escape the jam. Dellinger hit a two-out single in the seventh, but the late game magic wasn't there on Tuesday, as Caldwell closed out the win, 6-4.
The Wildcats' doubleheader against Nyack has been postponed so they will return to the field on Tuesday, April 6 when Chestnut Hill comes to Asbury Field.