FORT MYERS, Florida - The Wilmington College softball team mounted two comebacks on Wednesday with one falling just short in a 10-8 loss to Lesley College and the other succeeding in a 5-4 triumph over Western Connecticut State University in eight innings.
In the loss to Lesley, the Lynx got on board in the top of the first as Jordan Day took the first pitch she over the left field fence. The Fightin' Quakers nearly answered in the first as Day, also the starting pitcher, walked three batters along with hitting another. Mariyah Burkhardt nearly made the Lynx pay with a hard-hit ball up the middle, but it went right to the shortshop who doubled up the runner at second.
After a scoreless second inning for both teams, the Quakers loaded the bases in the bottom of the third. Allison Pierce again delivered, this time with a two-RBI double down the left field line, scoring Alecia Kemp and Megan Crager. After an out, KenDahl Bowles drove in Pierce with a single to left center.
Trailing for the first time, Lesley plated six runs in the top of the fourth and looked to close the game with two more runs in the fifth. Wilmington, down 10-3, didn't pack it in, however, putting together four runs on three hits with an error in the bottom of the inning on RBI-hits from Hayley Suchland and Burkhardt and a bases loaded walk drawn by Kemp. Wilmington had the bases loaded after Pierce reached via a fielder's choice, but a strikeout ended the inning.
Hunter Salyers, who came into the game in the fourth inning, didn't allow another run in the sixth and seventh innings. Wilmington couldn't score a two-out double in the sixth, but got the tying run to first base after a fielder's choice scored a run. A groundout to third ended the game.
Alexis Stringfellow dipped to 1-1 allowing five earned runs on eight hits in 3.2 innings pitched. Salyers allowed two runs on three hits with four walks in 3.1 innings for Wilmington. Lesley's pitching staff gave up eight runs on eight hits with eight walks.
Offensively, Crager finished 2-for-2 with two runs scored along with drawing three walks. Burkhardt also added two hits. Riley Pickett and Ashleigh Acker tallied three-hit games for the Lynx.
In game two, Western Connecticut State used five stolen bases to setup three RBI hits to take a 4-0 lead after three complete innings. Wilmington answered in the top of the fourth by using a Colonial error to score two unearned runs on an RBI-single from Bowles. The next inning, Kemp launched a two-run home run to straight-away center field that tied the game 4-4.
Western Connecticut State (6-2) would score a run in the bottom of the fifth on a two-out, RBI double, but Wilmington sent the game into extra innings as a Suchland single that led off the bottom of the seventh came around to score thanks to a sacrifice bunt from Cook and an RBI-fielder's choice from Kemp.
With the international run rule, which places a runner at second base begin extra innings, in effect, Cook placed down a perfectly-executed sacrifice bunt that advanced Je'Taysia Johns to third. Bowles then delivered a go-ahead single through the left side.
In the bottom half of the eighth, the Colonials also got the sacrifice bunt down, but back-to-back strikeouts from Suchland gave Wilmington the come-from-behind victory.
Suchland earned the complete-game win allowing seven hits with five walks and seven strikeouts over eight innings. Alyssa Lionetti, who came in for the eighth inning for Western Connecticut State, took the loss.
Crager finished 3-for-4 at the top of the lineup while Kemp hit the home run as well as driving in three runs. Bowles also record another multi-hit game.
Charline Plascynski finished 2-for-2 as the lone Colonial to record a multi-hit game.
Wilmington (6-2) closes out its spring trip to Florida with games against Knox College and Rochester Institute of Technology tomorrow (Thursday) at 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. respectively.