WILMINGTON – The Wilmington College softball team split an Ohio Athletic Conference doubleheader with Muskingum University at the WC Softball Complex Saturday. The Fighting Muskies took game one 6-1 while the Fightin’ Quakers won the nightcap 6-4.
In game one, Wilmington got multiple runners in scoring position in each of the first two innings, but Muskingum got out of the threats surrendering just one run on an RBI-double to left field from Kennedy Clifton. After being retired in order in the first three innings, the Muskies struck for three unearned runs in the third. The visitors would score one in the fifth and two in the sixth, with two of those being unearned, to earn the win.
Hayley Suchland struck out five batters and scattered five hits and took the loss despite allowing just a single earned run. Wilmington chased Muskingum starter Hannah Smith after 1.1 innings, but her replacement, Madelyn Thomas, tallied seven strikeouts and allowed two hits in the final 5.2 innings to earn the win.
Both teams had five hits in game one with the bottom half of the Quakers’ lineup all having a single hit. Haley Hawk tallied two hits to lead Muskingum.
In the nightcap, Arianna Layne singled home Suchland to open the scoring in the bottom of the first inning, but Muskingum answered with a single run in the second and third inning to take a 2-1 lead.
After neither team scored in the fourth, starter Alexis Stringfellow got out of a bases loaded jam in the top of the fifth as Katie Osburn lined out to shortstop to end the threat. In the bottom of the fifth, Wilmington’s Achilles Heel in game one, its defense, came to Muskingum.
The Quakers loaded the bases with one out thanks to a Musky error and Lindsey Carter singled to right center field. Instead of just scoring the tying run, the hosts pulled ahead 3-2 as another Muskingum error on the throw from the outfield plated another. Alecia Kemp would deliver an RBI-single up the middle and a Courtney Michalak sacrifice fly scored Carter to give the hosts a 5-2 lead.
A solo home run for Suchland pushed Wilmington’s advantage to 6-2 after six complete, but the Muskies would mount a comeback in the seventh. After two quick outs, a Quaker error gave Muskingum life. A two-RBI single from Riley Powers made the score 6-4 and the single at followed loaded the bases back up and put the tying run in scoring position. Wilmington Head Coach Beth Floyd put Suchland in to pitch, who tallied the one-out save as a fielder’s choice ended the game.
“I’m extremely proud of how well our pitchers threw today,” Floyd said. “Our offense came in clutch stringing some hits together in game two.”
Stringfellow improved to 4-2 on the season with the win allowing two earned runs on a dozen hits in 6.2 innings pitched. Hannah Duff took the loss for Muskingum, allowing three earned runs on eight hits in 4.1 innings pitched.
Kemp finished 3-for-3 for Wilmington while Layne and Kylah Morrison both had two hits. Powers and Francesco Stefano both had three hits for the Muskies.
Wilmington (9-11, 8-8 OAC) will face Otterbein University for a four-game series next weekend.