by Tom Utescher
A single swing of the bat accounted for all of the scoring for host Chestnut Hill College in a conference doubleheader last Thursday afternoon.
In game one Francesca Faillace, a sophomore out of Little Flower Catholic High School, led off the home half of the third inning with a solo home run to left field. However, Wilmington University had already scored three times in the first inning, and after the visiting Wildcats wrapped up a 3-1 win in that opening game, they took game two as well, 5-0.
The Griffins dipped to 6-14 within the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference and 6-22 overall, while Wilmington improved to 13-5, 21-17.
Last Thursday, under sunny but unseasonably chilly conditions, CHC sophomore hurler Courtney Dayter (3K, 2BB) had some control problems at the outset. Wilmington started out the top of the first with a pair of singles, then took advantage of two hit batters and a wild pitch to score its first two runs. The third came home on a single by Meghan Logullo.
The Griffins held up on defense the rest of the game and at the plate they had almost as many hits as the Wildcats (6-7), but they couldn’t string them together in an effective way. Faillace at least put the Griffins on the board with her third-inning shot, but after that the best they could do was get one runner to second base.
Hurler Jen Fischbach took the win for Wilmington, striking out seven without giving up any walks. Chestnut Hill committed the lone error of the game, and no miscues were recorded for either side in the second contest.
As in the opener, the Wildcats came out swinging in game two. Back-to-back doubles provided them with their first run, all they would need for the victory, as things turned out. This time the visitors had a clear advantage in offensive output, with a dozen hits to CHC’s three.
Fortunately for the hosts, the damage was limited to one run in the first frame, but two more followed at the top of the third. After going down in order in its first two turns with the sticks, the Griffins had the makings of a two-out rally in the bottom of the third inning.
A lead-off double by sophomore Allie Williams was followed by two outs in the air, but then freshman Ashleigh Sharp was struck by a pitch and went to first. Megan Kehr, CHC’s sophomore catcher, singled to left field to load the bases, but Wilmington pitcher Steph Sarris (8K, 0BB) struck out the next batter to end what would be the Griffins’ best chance to score.
With two outs in the top of the fifth, Wilmington’s Miranda Pedersen slammed a foul ball that hit about 30 feet up in a tree well past the left field fence. She hit the next pitch almost as far, and this one was in play, easily clearing the barrier in left to make it a 4-0 game. Three successive hits in the top of the seventh gave the Wildcats their fifth run of the day.
Freshman Briannen Holloway (2K, 0BB) took the loss for Chestnut Hill.
On a positive note, all of CHC’s six victories this season have come in conference play. The Griffins swept a doubleheader against Bloomfield College, and split twin-bill engagements with Nyack College, Goldey Beacom, Felician College, and University of the Sciences.