Trio Of Softball Seniors See Careers End On Saturday

(Photo by Artur Workstus '22)
(Photo by Artur Workstus '22)

LYNDHURST, N.J. – The Felician University softball team was swept by visiting Wilmington (Del.) University in a Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference doubleheader on Saturday afternoon at the Lyndhurst Recreation Complex. Wilmington emerged victorious from Game 1, 10-2 in five innings, before claiming Game 2, 15-6.

The games concluded regular-season play for both schools. Wilmington (34-12, 22-4 CACC) gained no worse than the No. 2 seed in next week's CACC Championship tournament. The Wildcats are the No. 4 team in the most recent NCAA Division II East Region ranking.

The pair of setbacks, combined with other conference results on Saturday, eliminated Felician from contention for a CACC playoff berth. The Golden Falcons will miss the CACC Tournament for the first time since 2014.

Prior to Saturday's first game, Felician honored graduating seniors Isabella Bradian (Mount Royal, N.J./Kingsway Regional), Steph Donah (Clark, N.J./Arthur L. Johnson) and Mia Montoya (Las Vegas, Nev./John F. Kennedy [Calif.]) in a Senior Day ceremony. During what turned into her final career appearances, Donah had two hits, two RBI and a triple in each game. Bradian was 2 for 3 in Game 2, including her first career home run.

In Game 1, Wilmington led, 5-0, after 2 ½ innings. Felician (15-30, 11-15) cut into its deficit in the home half of the third on Donah's two-run triple. But the Wildcat offense kept attacking. The visitors scored twice more in the fourth and three more times in the fifth. When the Golden Falcons were retired in order in the bottom of the fifth, the game ended on the NCAA eight-run rule.

Annie Davila (Yorba Linda, Calif./Yorba Linda) and Lauren Lopez (Burbank, Calif./John Burroughs) hit solo home runs for Wilmington, which also scored three times on bases-loaded walks. The Wildcats picked up 12 hits, eight bases on balls and two hit batsmen in the contest. Wilmington junior shortstop Alyssa Velasquez (Indio, Calif./Palm Desert) scored four runs. She was one of four Wildcats with two hits. Freshman Jackie Ribaudo (Staten Island, N.Y./Moore Catholic) doubled and scored for Felician.

Wildcat pitcher Caitlyn Whiteside (Bermuda Dunes, Calif./Shadow Hills) (17-8) gave up four hits and one walk over five innings. She struck out two batters.

The Golden Falcons took an early 2-0 lead in the nightcap. Donah drove a first-inning RBI triple and scored on a Nicole Spiegelberg (Blauvelt, N.Y./Tappan Zee) sacrifice fly. But five Felician errors eventually led to 11 unearned runs for the visitors. After loaded the bases with none out in the third, Wilmington scored on an error and a passed ball to even the score then took the lead to stay with three runs in the fourth.

After Bradian homered in the fourth, an RBI single by Krystina Lorch (Hemet, Calif./West Valley) in the fifth pulled the hosts to within 5-4. Wilmington executed a first-and-third double-steal in the sixth for a run, then scored nine times on only four base hits in the seventh.

Lopez went 5 for 5 with a double and Rosa'lynn Burton (Dover, Del./Caesar Rodney) was 3 for 5 with four runs scored for the Wildcats. Junior catcher Angela Antonini (Gibbstown, N.J./Gloucester Catholic) homered and winning pitcher Makayla McCarthy (El Cajon, Calif./Steele Canyon) hit a grand slam in the seventh.

Felician leadoff batter C.J. Apacible (Long Beach, Calif./Lakewood) went 3 for 4 with three runs and Donah and Bradian picked up two hits each.

Wilmington head coach Mike Shehorn earned his 200th career victory with his team's Game 1 triumph.