WILMINGTON, Ohio - The Wilmington College softball team, which had not played a home softball game in 678 days (April 28, 2019), opened its 2021 season by splitting a non-conference doubleheader with Otterbein University on Saturday. The Cardinals won game one 9-8 while the Fightin' Quakers took the nightcap 5-3.
In game one, Hannah Dobrinick started things off in the top of the first with a three-run home run that just snuck inside the left field foul pole. Lizz Hadley answered with a double to right center scoring Megan Crager who singled to lead off the bottom half of the inning. The Cardinals got that run back in the top of the second, but the Fightin' Quakers battled back to tie it 4-4 with RBI-hits from freshmen Arianna Layne and McKenna Archey in the bottom of the second.
Otterbein would plate two unearned runs in the third inning as well as one in both the fourth and fifth innings, but Wilmington countered with two in the fourth, including a solo home run from freshman Arianna Layne. Layne would continue her heroics an inning later, launching a two-run blast over the right center field fence to tie the game 8-8 after five complete. Unfortunately for the Quakers, their seventh fielding error of the game would plate the winning run for Otterbein in the top of the sixth.
Alexis Stringfellow took the loss for Wilmington, allowing a dozen hits and four earned runs over seven innings with three strikeouts. Brook Crosby, who came in relief after Layne's second home run, allowed just a single hit in the final 2.2 innings.
The Quakers finished with 14 hits including a 4-of-4 performance from Lindsay Carter in her first collegiate game. Megan Crager and Layne both had multi-hit games and scored three runs while Hadley added a 2-for-4 performance.
The Cardinals, who tallied a dozen hits, were led by Sage Jenkins and starting pitcher Jess Gunter with three hits each. Maria Herron and Macy Allen also recorded multi-hit contests.
The nightcap proved to be a very different type of game has neither team scored for the first three innings. Wilmington bucked that trend in the bottom of the fourth, however, as Hadley and Alecia Kemp started the inning off with walks. With one out, Andrea Edmisten singled via a bunt to load the bases and Kennedy Clifton singled to right field score the game's first run. Crager followed up with a single to shortstop scoring a second, and after a wild pitch scored a third run and advanced the other runners to second and third, Layne doubled both home with her third deep shot to right center field on the day.
Trailing 5-0, Otterbein would get two runs back in the sixth, but leave the bases loaded as Hayley Suchland induced a groundout to second base. With the score 5-2, the Cardinals plated a single run on a sacrifice fly in the seventh, but wouldn't get the tying run to home plate as a groundout to Suchland ended the game.
Suchland earned the complete-game victory, scattering five hits with seven strikeouts and seven walks in seven innings pitched. Isabelle Fisher took the loss, allowing five earns in 3.1 innings pitched.
Layne finished 3-for-3 with two RBIs in game two while five other Quakers had one hit each. Dobrinick was the lone Cardinal to record a multi-hit game going 2-for-2 with two walks.
Wilmington (1-1) will head to Westerville tomorrow (Sunday) for the final two games of the non-conference series.