Season of Firsts Comes to an End for Wilmington Softball After Earning First NCAA East Regional Tournament Victory
Soft: Wilmington 2 - New Haven 1; Southern New Hampshire 1 - Wilmington 0
Saturday, May 10, 2014 - West Haven, Conn.
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Senior Stephanie Sarris went 17-10 this season, tying for second for most wins by a pitcher in a single season. Copyright 2014; Wilmington University. All rights reserved.
Sophomore Ashley Bennett collected a hit in each game on Saturday, batting 1-for-2 with a run against New Haven and 1-for-3 against Southern New Hampshire. Copyright 2014; Wilmington University. All rights reserved.
Sophomore Jen Fischbach knocked in the first ever run in an NCAA East Regional Tournament game for the Wildcats, an RBI ground against New Haven. Copyright 2014; Wilmington University. All rights reserved.
The record breaking 2014 Wilmington University softball season came to an end on Saturday, but not before the team picked up its first ever win in an NCAA East Region Tournament, defeating New Haven, 2-1, before falling to Southern New Hampshire, 1-0, at the UNH Softball Field.
The 2014 squad finish with a 29-26 overall record, winning the program’s first Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference Tournament and earning the program’s first bid into an NCAA East Region Tournament, picking up the program’s first ever win in an NCAA East Region Tournament, staying alive out of the loser’s bracket.
Senior Stephanie Sarris took the ball once again for the Wildcats, and headed for the circle for the sixth consecutive game. She allowed a hit in the third inning, but kept the runner on first, facing 10 batters through the first three innings against New Haven.
That was enough time for the offense to come around in the top of the fourth.
Colby Wyatt singled to lead off the inning before Ashley Bennett singled to left center to put two runners on base without recording an out. That forced starter Nicole King out of the contest for the Chargers (29-18), but didn’t stop the offense.
Meghan Logullo walked to load the bases with no outs and a pair of RBI ground outs put the Wildcats ahead 2-0 in the inning. Jen Fischbach knocked in the first run on a grounder to third before Miranda Pedersen grounded out to second to make it 2-0.
Sarris shut the Chargers down in order in the fourth and worked around a one-out error that landed a runner in scoring position in the fifth to hold the momentum.
Heading into the seventh inning leading 2-0, the Wildcats were looking for three outs to pick up their first ever NCAA win. But the Chargers’ Lindsey Couturier had other plans, leading off the inning with a solo homer to put the home team on the board.
Brooke Fisher followed with a single to put the tying run on before a sacrifice bunt moved the tying run into scoring position. Sarris induced a pop up for the second out of the inning before striking out reliever Victoria Cabral with runners on first and second to end the game.
Wyatt, Bennett, Logullo, and Michelle Panasiti collected the four hits for the Wildcats with Fischbach and Pedersen picking up the RBIs.
The win moved the Wildcats to face the fifth seeded Southern New Hampshire in another elimination game.
Facing another outstanding pitcher, the Wildcats had chances against the Penmen’s Ali Maloof, collecting five hits, but couldn’t find the one to bring in any runs.
The Wildcats received a leadoff hit in the top of the second by Bennett, but a sacrifice bunt was popped up for the first out before a second attempt was finally successful by Fischbach. But with two outs, Pedersen grounded out to end the inning with pinch runner Chelsea Botsch left on second.
Two two-out singles in the third put another runner in scoring position in the third for the Wildcats, but Wyatt lined out to the shortstop to end the threat and the inning for the Wildcats.
The Penmen got to Sarris in the fifth inning, scoring a lone run with two outs in the inning. With one out and the runner on first, Tesia Stanasek doubled to left to put runners on second and third. A safety squeeze play was unsuccessful for the Penmen as Pedersen nailed Davan Rabidou at the plate for the second out.
But Maloof looped one over the head of Kelsey Doherty at short with runners at the corners, bringing in the lone run of the game.
Sarris worked out of a second and third jam with one out in the sixth to give the Wildcats a chance in the seventh, but Maloof buckled down and sent the Wildcats down in order to end the contest.
Doherty, Cambria Ziemba, Wyatt, Bennett, and Shannon McMahon all singled for the Wildcats in the loss.
Sarris fell to 17-10 on the year, but her 17 wins ties her for second most in a single season for a pitcher in program history.
Seniors Danielle Griffin and Logullo have been around for 118 wins in four years with the Wildcats, while Sarris came along this year to help the team to its first CACC Tournament Championship and Regional berth.