Szymanski Leads Blue Hens in Nightcap Victory as Delaware Softball Splits CAA Doubleheader at UNCW
WILMINGTON, N.C. -- Blue Hen freshman Carolyn Szymanski fired a complete game and hit a home run during the nightcap as the University of Delaware softball team split a Colonial Athletic Association doubleheader with UNCW Sunday afternoon at Bozeman Field.
The Blue Hens, who are now 10-16 overall and 2-3 in the league, dropped the opener, 6-5, before bouncing back with a 5-3 triumph in the nightcap. UNCW is now 16-16 overall and 3-2 in conference play following the twinbill split.
During the opener, Delaware trailed 5-0 heading into the top of the seventh inning before piecing together a dramatic rally. Heather Oakley opened the frame by working a walk, before pinch hitter Lisa Stacevicz singled to leftcenter. Following a groundout, Jessica Grisler ripped a two-run double to leftcenter to put the Blue Hens on the board.
Danielle Wissinger then grounded out but Giovanna Kolofer followed with an RBI single before Sarah Bencivenga drilled a two-run homer to leftcenter, her first career longball, to knot the game at 5-5.
However the Seahawks responded during the bottom half as Merritt Wilkinson led off with a single, moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Jessica Rappe, and scored the winning run when Claudia Spinelli singled to centerfield.
UNCW pitcher Casey Rowland improved to 7-8 after allowing five runs on eight hits, while Delaware sophomore Taylor Curran fell to 0-2 as she gave up one run on two hits in 1.2 innings of relief.
Rowland put the Seahawks on top when she blasted a solo home run during the bottom of the second off UD starter Kelly Lupton, while Rappe added a two-run homer an inning later to increase the margin to 3-0. Solo shots by Brittany Gamby and Casey Shue in the fifth put UNCW up five, before the Blue Hens’ rally in the seventh.
Delaware bounced back in the nightcap, scoring four runs in the top of the third inning and leading the rest of the way. Shelby Jones laced a one-out double to centerfield, and after a single by Grisler, Wissinger drove home Jones with a double to center as the Blue Hens struck first. Kolofer then singled to left to chase home Grisler, while one out later Stacevicz delivered a two-run double to center to put UD in front, 4-0.
The Seahawks got on the board in the bottom of the fourth when Erin Brown crushed a solo homer to left, but Szymanski got the run back in the top of the sixth with a solo blast of her own.
UNCW again closed within three in the bottom half when Brown bounced into a fielder’s choice to plate Shue, but Szymanski got Spinelli to line out to first with runners on the corners to escape further damage.
The Seahawks rallied again in the bottom of the seventh, as UNCW had runners on second and third with two away when Shue lined a single to center. Lauren Moore scored on the play to make it a 5-3 game, but Wissinger fired to third to nail Wilkinson and end the game.
Szymanski went the distance for the Blue Hens, improving to 6-8 after she allowed three runs on six hits. Jordan took the loss for UNCW and fell to 6-9 as she was charged with four runs on six hits in 2.2 innings of work.
Kolofer led the way offensively for Delaware, as she finished 2 for 3 with a run scored and an RBI in both games of the twinbill. Wissinger had three hits on the afternoon while Grisler added two hits, two runs scored and a pair of RBI.
Delaware is back home on Wednesday to host UMES in a 3 p.m. non-conference doubleheader at the UD Softball Stadium.