NEW CASTLE, Del. – Wilmington (Del.) University used two strong starting pitching performances and a pair of big third innings to win both ends of its Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference softball doubleheader, 8-3 and 5-0, from visiting Felician University on Saturday afternoon at Asbury Field.
The only scoring for Felician (17-18, 14-6 CACC) on the day came on a three-run home run from senior Ashley Owens (Lockport, N.Y.) in the sixth inning of Game 1. However, by that time, the Golden Falcons already trailed, 6-0, and could not complete the comeback. Owens and junior Mia Montoya (Las Vegas, Nev.) had a hit in each game for Felician.
Junior Caitlyn Whiteside (Bermuda Dunes, Calif.) was 4 for 4 and drove in three runs on the day for Wilmington (29-13, 16-4), which is the No. 9 team in the most recent NCAA Division II Committee East Region ranking.
The Wildcats took control early with a five-run bottom of the third inning in the day's opening game. They loaded the bases with none out on a bunt hit and two walks. One out later, Lexi Baughman (Bear, Del.) and Jordyn Virden (Lewes, Del.) delivered consecutive RBI singles, and Lauren Lopez (Burbank, Calif.) followed with a two-run single. Another run-scoring hit, this one by Whiteside, capped the uprising.
Whiteside drove in another run in the fifth. Meanwhile, in the pitching circle, she carried a one-hit shutout into the sixth inning. Owens' two-out blast cut her team's deficit in half. Felician put two more runners on base afterward, but could not draw closer.
The Wildcats tacked on two runs in the sixth for the final margin, and Whiteside worked around a two-out walk and single to set down the Golden Falcons in the seventh. Whiteside (15-5) gave up seven hits and struck out three in a complete-game effort and went 3 for 3. Steph Donah (Clark, N.J.) and Keelee Davis (Chula Vista, Calif.) had two hits each for Felician.
In the nightcap, Felician fell victim to a five-hit shutout by Wildcat freshman right-hander Makayla McCarthy (El Cajon, Calif.). McCarthy struck out nine Golden Falcons and walked none, and did not give up an extra-base hit.
McCarthy also jump-started Wilmington's three-run third-inning rally with an RBI double. Baughman punched a two-run single to left-center field later in the frame. The hosts scored two more in the sixth on Whiteside's pinch-hit RBI single and a run-scoring hit from Jazmeen Llamas (Bakersfield, Calif.).
Nicole Spiegelberg (Blauvelt, N.Y.) was 2 for 3 for Felician.
The Golden Falcons play a make-up doubleheader on Monday against Concordia (N.Y.) College in Bronxville, N.Y.