WILMINGTON, Ohio – For the first time in over a decade, the Wilmington College softball team has swept Marietta College in a season series. The Fightin' Quakers defeated the Pioneers 3-2 in come-from-behind fashion in game one and took game two 10-2 in six innings on Saturday afternoon.
"We did a great job of staying focused despite playing behind at times today," Head Softball Coach Beth Floyd said. "They believe in themselves and kept working hard all day."
In game one, Wilmington struck in the bottom of the first inning as Megan Crager reached base via a walk to open the inning. After Hayley Suchland executed a sacrifice bunt to move Crager into scoring position, Allison Pierce doubled to left center scoring the first run of the game.
The Quakers' starter, Grace Shell, was perfect through 4.1 innings including nine strikeouts, but Marietta put together a two-out rally that resulted in Lauren Rockocy's RBI-double to left field that scored two runs. Wilmington would answer in the bottom of the sixth as a pair of sacrifice fly were hit to right field, from Pierce and Jillia Cook, that scored Suchland and Alecia Kemp respectively to give the hosts a 3-2 lead. Shell would strike out two in the seventh along with a popup to secure the win.
Shell struck out a season-high 12 batters to improve to 8-4 on the season while Maddi Liston took the loss allowing three earned runs in six innings.
Pierce finished 2-for-2 with a walk drawn and two RBIs while Suchland and Kennedy Clifton also added hits. Three Pioneers had one hit including Rockocy's double that scored two runs.
"Grace [Shell] did a tremendous job keeping a good Marietta offense off balance," said Floyd. "She got ahead in counts all game."
In game two, Wilmington was threatening to score in the early going, but couldn't deliver an RBI-hit. Marietta, on the other hand, got a run in the second and third and led 2-0 after four complete.
Alexis Stringfellow and Hunter Salyers got the Quakers through four innings, and Shell came in to retire the Pioneers in order in the top of the fifth. In the bottom half, Wilmington finally delivered with runners in scoring position. In total, the Quakers sent 14 batters to the plate in the inning, tallied six hits and plated nine runs.
Trailing 9-2, Marietta left the bases loaded in the top of the sixth as Shell struck out Kylie Daugherty, and Wilmington took advantage of a Pioneer error to score the final run in the bottom half to close out the game in six innings.
"We kept getting people on, but couldn't find a hole early in game two," Floyd said. "We kept passing the bat in the fifth."
Shell was the winning pitcher again in game two allowing one hit in two innings. Salyers pitched the middle two innings for Wilmington and allowed no runs on two hits.
Jackie Mulvain took the loss for Marietta allowing five earned runs in 4.1 innings pitched.
Hannah Richardson led Marietta with two hits in three at bats in defeat.
Wilmington improves to 17-9 on the season and 5-7 in OAC play with the victories. Due to weather, the series with Oberlin College scheduled for tomorrow (Sunday) has been canceled, meaning the Quakers' will return to action at Capital University on Tuesday.