NAPLES, Florida - The Wilmington College softball team closed out its spring trip with victories over Knox College (Illinois) by a score of 10-3 and Rochester Institute of Technology (New York) by a 1-0 margin. The Fightin' Quakers close out their annual trip south with a record of 8-2, tying the best record on the trip (2013) in Head Coach Beth Floyd's 13-year tenure.
"I'm very proud to have the opportunity to coach such a selfless group of young women," Floyd said. "Our pack played hard this week and for each other. I'm looking forward to watching this group continue to grow, improve and do amazing things."
In the game one victory over the Prairie Fire, Wilmington opened the scoring by batting around in the bottom of the second inning. Micalah Hensley's RBI-single open the middle opened the scoring as Allison Pierce crossed the plate, and after a wild pitch put runners on second and third, Shelby Raby grounded out to shortstop scoring Hensley. The Quakers' next two batters, Ali Dixon and Megan Crager, both tallied RBI hits with a single and double respectively. When the half-inning concluded, Wilmington had put together five hits and four runs.
An inning later, Hensley delivered her second RBI with a singlet to center field, but Knox would score the next three runs including one in the fourth and two in the fifth to get within two (5-3). Wilmington wouldn't waste any time getting those runs back, however, as it sent eight to the plate in the bottom of the inning. Raby hit a single to third base that scored KenDahl Bowles and Crager delivered her second RBI-double, this one scoring Raby and Hensley, putting Wilmington up 8-3 after five. The Quakers would add two more in the sixth to earn the win.
Hayley Suchland improved to 2-1 on the mound with the win allowing just one hit and two earned runs while scattering six walks with five strikeouts in four innings. Alexis Stringfellow earned the three-inning save allowing one earned run on two hits with four strikeouts.
Crager was a perfect 4-for-4 with three RBIs and a walk in the lead-off slot with two doubles. Hensley finished 3-for-3 with two RBIs and three runs scored while Raby added a 2-for-4 performance with three RBIs.
In the game two triumph over RIT, both teams had multiple runners on in the first inning, but failed to score. The Tigers would get the lead-off runner on base in the next three innings including the first two baserunners in the fourth and fifth innings. Luckily for Wilmington, Bowles was there to end the inning each time including a double play unassisted to leave the bases loaded in the fourth.
The Quakers made the Tigers pay for leaving nine runners on base in the bottom of the seventh has Hensley led off the inning with a single to center. Kennedy Clifton then put down a bunt with the intent to sacrifice, but beat out the throw for a base hit. That throw went into right field that advanced Hensley to third. Crager then continued her great offensive day with a walk-off single to right field.
Grace Shell improved to 4-0 on the year scattering seven hits with four walks and give strikeouts in the complete-game shutout. Suchland led Wilmington offensively with two hits while five other Quakers had a hit.
Wilmington will open Ohio Athletic Conference (OAC) play at Muskingum University on March 23.