Wilmington earns split in OAC opener
Quakers go 1-1 at Marietta
March 25, 2012
Brooke Byrne drove in three runs in Wilmington's 7-4 win over Marietta.
MARIETTA — Wilmington College opened the Ohio Athletic Conference softball season with a series split at Marietta College Sunday afternoon.
The Quakers were 7-4 winners in the opener and Marietta held on for a 4-3 win in game two.
Wilmington is now 1-1 in the OAC, 9-11 overall. Marietta is 2-2 in the conference, 8-6 for the season.
“Our team came out ready to play. They were excited to open the conference up today, and they really stepped up and played great all-around softball,” Wilmington head coach Beth Floyd said.
The Quakers took a 1-0 lead in the opener when Catlin Shilling (Waverly) homered in the third.
Wilmington played add-on in the fourth by plating four runs on five hits. Chelsea Morrow (South Vienna/Northeastern) and Stacy Lunsford (Wilmington/Clinton-Massie) had run-scoring hits that bookended a two-run double from Brooke Byrne (Wilmington).
The 5-0 lead stood until Marietta scored three times in the fifth. The Pioneers got another run in the sixth inning to pull within a run.
Shilling took the circle in relief of Danielle Monnier (Houston) and retired three straight to keep Wilmington’s lead intact.
The Quakers scored two times in the seventh. Morrow chased home a run with a single, and a bases-loaded walk to Byrne made it a 7-4 game.
“We talked to the team about getting some insurance runs. Erika Lee got on and we moved people over and got a key hit. Chelsea had a big day for us today. She did everything we asked of her in the field and at the plate,” Floyd said.
Shilling put the Pioneers down in order in the seventh to earn her second save of the season and move Monnier’s record to 5-5.
“Catlin pitched outstanding today. She is a strong, confident individual. She stepped into a tight situation and really pitched well,” Floyd said.
Kelsey Becker (Clarksville, Ind.) went 4-for-4 to lead Wilmington’s 12-hit attack. Morrow and Allie Holstein (Ashville/Teays Valley) had two hits apiece.
In game two, the Pioneer took a 3-0 lead into the fourth inning, but Kaylee Cox (Prospect/Elgin) led off the inning with a home run to left to cut the deficit to 3-1.
Marietta got that run back in the home fourth, but Cox struck again in the Wilmington fifth. Wilmington loaded the bases on singles by Morrow and Lunsford while Byrne reached on a Marietta error. Cox delivered a two-run single to left and the Quakers were within a run at 4-3.
Wilmington put runners on second and third with one out in the sixth inning, but Marietta wriggled out of the jam and went on to take the win.
“We played hard and battled back the whole game,” Floyd said. “They never gave up. It was a great game that came right down to the end. Kaylee Cox really came up huge for us at the plate.
Cox and Lunsford combined for four of Wilmington’s nine hits.