WC wins slugfest, loses pitcher’s duel

WESTERVILLE, Ohio – The Wilmington College softball team split an Ohio Athletic Conference (OAC) doubleheader at Otterbein University on Sunday, falling 1-0 in a defensive game one and winning 14-10 in an offensive game two.

In game one, the Fightin’ Quakers nearly scored in the first inning as Megan Crager, a native of Westerville, doubled to open the game. After a flyout, Arianna Layne singled to left field advancing Crager to third. Layne stole second putting two runners in scoring position, but consecutive strikeouts ended the inning.

Two innings later, Wilmington again got a runner to third base with less than two outs, but a fielder’s choice and a groundout to second kept the visitors off the scoreboard. In the bottom of the fourth, it was the Cardinals’ turn to get a runner to third. Starting pitcher Hayley Suchland got Wilmington out the jam, however, striking out Megan Payne.

The visitors once again got a runner to third in the top of the fifth, this time with two outs, but Layne popped up to shortstop. The hosts scored the game’s only run in the bottom of the fifth as Sage Jenkins singled home Savannah McCoppin. Wilmington would get the tying run on base in the seventh, but a lineout double play ended the game.

Brook Crosby earned the shutout, scattering seven hits and two walks with three strikeouts in seven innings pitched. Suchland took the loss despite allowing just one earned run in five innings with four strikeouts.

Crager finished 2-for-3 with a walk while Lindsey Carter joined Crager by hitting a double. Jenkins, owner of the game’s only RBI, went 2-for-2 for Otterbein.

Game two was played very differently from game one right from the start. The Quakers batted around in the first inning and chased Cardinal starter Jess Gunter after six batters. RBI-hits from Lindsey Carter, Alecia Kemp, Olivia Doll and McKenna Archey plated seven runs to give Wilmington a 7-0 lead after one. Otterbein got one run back in the second and would chase Wilmington starter Alexis Stringfellow with three runs in the third.

Neither team scored in the fourth inning, and the Quakers, up 7-4, extended that advantage in the fifth. RBI-hits from Sarah Bumps and Megan Crager as well as two wild pitches plated four runs for the visitors, but the hosts got three of those runs back in the bottom half of the inning. After a scoreless sixth inning, three runs on six hits, including a two-RBI single from Lizz Hadley, in the seventh put the game away.

A trio of Quakers – Alexis Stringfellow, Carter and Hannah Hall – all pitched two innings in the game with Stringfellow getting the win and Hall the save. Gunter took the loss for Otterbein.

Wilmington pounded out 18 singles including a 4-for-4 performance with three RBIs and two runs scored from Olivia Doll. Crager, Layne, Kemp and Archey also had multi-hit games. A quartet of Cardinals – Jenkins, Hannah Dobrinick, Erin Vanderwell and Payne all had two hits.

Wilmington (12-12, 11-9 OAC) will face Ohio Northern University in a four-game series next weekend.