Blue Hen Bats Come Alive as Delaware Softball Pounds UMES, 23-2 and 5-0, in Doubleheader Sweep
NEWARK, Del. -- The University of Delaware softball team produced its highest run total in 38 years in the opener while sophomore Kelly Lupton fired a shutout in the nightcap as the Blue Hens pounded UMES, 23-2 and 5-0, in a non-conference doubleheader sweep of the Hawks Wednesday afternoon at the UD Softball Stadium.
Sophomore leftfielder Shelby Jones hit a grand slam in the opener and added an inside the park homer during the nightcap for the Blue Hens (12-16), whose 23 runs in the first game tied for the second highest total in school history and the most since the program’s 1976 inaugural season. Delaware pounded out 20 hits in the opener to tie a school record, while the Blue Hens’ 20 RBI established a new UD mark.
Freshman third baseman Giovanna Kolofer tied the school’s individual game record by scoring four times, while fellow rookie Carolyn Szymanski (at left) also tied the UD record by posting three doubles. Kolofer and Szymanski each finished 3 for 4 during the easy win, with Szymanski also driving home three runs. Jones was 3 for 3 with five RBI and three runs scored, while junior rightfielder Jessica Grisler went 3 for 5 with three runs scored and a pair of RBI.
The Hawks (6-28) took the lead with two runs in the top of the first inning, before Delaware took control with four in the bottom half. The Blue Hens added three runs in the bottom of the second, before putting the game away with an 11-run outburst in the third. Grisler and Danielle Wissinger singled home the first two runs of the inning, while Szymanski delivered a two-run double later in the frame.
Michelle McKinnon singled home a run with a single up the middle, before Jones capped the rally by drilling a pitch over the leftfield fence for a grand slam. Delaware then added five runs in the fourth, highlighted by run-scoring singles from Tori Conrad, Heather Oakley and Jones.
Meanwhile Szymanski settled down after her rocky first inning in the circle, allowing two runs, one earned, on three hits while improving to 7-8 on the year.
The Blue Hens then took control of the nightcap by pushing across four runs in the bottom of the second inning, as Jones doubled home a run while McKinnon singled home two more. Delaware maintained its four-run cushion until the bottom of the sixth when Jones legged out an inside the park homer, her second round-tripper of the day and the sixth of her career.
Lupton (at right) would do the rest, scattering five hits while striking out six and not walking a batter while improving to 4-4 and recording her first shutout as a Blue Hen.
Jones and McKinnon each finished 2 for 3 at the plate with two RBI for Delaware, while Sarah Bencivenga also had two hits and scored a run.
“We were getting quality at bats, getting good pitches to hit, and then just attacking,” said fourth-year UD head coach Jaime Wohlbach. “We were trying to put together some hits with runners on base, and that’s what we did today. We’ve been focusing on our offense during practice, so to string some hits together is really important for our confidence moving forward.”
The Blue Hens are right back in action on Thursday when Delaware heads to La Salle for a 3 p.m. doubleheader with the Explorers.