WC softball splits two in season-opener

FORT MYERS, Fla. – The Wilmington College softball team opened its 2018 season and spring trip by splitting a pair of games Sunday afternoon. The Fightin’ Quakers shutout Nazareth College 5-0 and fell to Kenyon College 5-1.

In game one, neither team scored in the first three innings. Wilmington’s offense awoke in the bottom of the fourth as Alecia Kemp singled and was bunted to second by Kaylee Barber. KenDahl Bowles delivered the Quakers’ first RBI-hit of the season with a single.

The Golden Flyers put a runner in scoring position in the fifth but failed to deliver. After being retired in order in the top of the sixth, Wilmington broke the game open with a four-run sixth inning fueled by RBIs from Savannah Hooper and Megan Crager.

Grace Shell finished the complete-game victory by retiring the opposition in order in the top of the seventh.

“Grace [Shell] made an outstanding freshman debut,” WC coach Beth Floyd said. “She gave up three hits and got a lot of ground ball outs. She did a nice job for us in the circle.”

Shell struck out four batters in seven innings to earn the win.

Offensively, Wilmington finished with 11 hits including multi-hit contests by Crager, Kemp, Jillia Cook and Sawyer Hooper. Crager had a double and two RBIs while Savannah Hooper tallied a hit and had a stolenolen base.

In game two, the Quakers had a runner in scoring position in the second, third and fourth innings, but none scored.

Micalah Hensley opened the bottom of the sixth with a single. Chandler Fields then delivered a pinch-hit sacrifice bunt. A flyout advanced the runner to third base with one out, and the Wilmington bench was asked to step up once again as Je’Taysia Johns ripped an RBI-single to right field to tie the game.

Kenyon answered with four runs in the top of the seventh to seal the victory. Despite the loss, Floyd was pleased with her team’s resiliency to battle back and tie the game.

“We have a lot of depth on this team, and a lot of fight. Chandler Fields coming in with a huge sacrifice bunt and Je’Taysia Johns ripping one down the line. That’s great team effort,” said Floyd.

Wilmington outhit Kenyon 8-7 including two hits from both Cook and Hensley. The Ladies were led by the top two of their order who both finished 2-for-4 with two RBIs.

Beth Periscano took the loss. She fanned five batters in a complete game.