Birthday presents for Floyd

March 4, 2013

Junior Nikki Tolson was 3-for-3 with three RBI in Wilmington's 10-2 victory over Regis. (Wilmington photo)

Junior Nikki Tolson was 3-for-3 with three RBI in Wilmington's 10-2 victory over Regis. (Wilmington photo)

FT. MYERS, FL – Happy Birthday Beth Floyd.

The Wilmington College women’s softball coach was given two birthday presents by her team Monday as the Lady Quakers swept two games at the Gene Cusic Classic lifting WC to its best start in the Floyd-era.

“Great birthday present to pick up two victories today, especially with the way we hit the ball,” said head coach Beth Floyd. “We hit the ball hard all day; in both game one and game two.”

Sophomore Jess Clutter (Englewood, OH/Northmont) allowed two unearned runs and junior Nikki Tolson (Monroe, OH/Lemon Monroe) drove in three runs in the 10-2 win over Regis in the opener. In the second game, junior Stacy Lunsford’s (Wilmington, OH/Clinton-Massie) two-out, two-run single in the fourth inning gave Wilmington the lead as it held on for the 4-3 victory.

Wilmington opened the opener with five consecutive hits and scored four runs in the first inning. They added four in the fourth and two in the sixth for the run-rule win.

“Hitting is contagious,” said Floyd. “When we start the game off with solid hit after solid hit, that momentum carries throughout the lineup and we were able to put together a couple of big innings.”

Lunsford and senior Brooke Byrne (Wilmington, OH/Wilmington) recorded two hits and scored three runs, while sophomore Allie Noggle (Asheville, OH/Teays Valley) added two knocks for Wilmington.

Clutter scattered five hits over five innings of work with four strikeouts in allowing the two unearned runs. Junior Catlin Shilling (Waverly, OH/Waverly) struck out two, both looking, in her lone inning of work.

“Jess today on the mound was dominant,” said Floyd. “She is taking control of the batters by getting ahead of the count, by making them hit the pitches she is choosing to throw. She is not getting behind and having to throw fastballs. She is staying ahead and keeping control of the game.”

For the first time this season, Wilmington didn’t score in the first inning and they also trailed for the first time in the early season as Kenyon tallied two runs in the fourth inning. Undeterred, the Lady Quakers quickly responded.

Shilling started the rally with a one-out double, which was followed by a walk to freshman Megan Rachford (Germantown, OH/Valley View). An error allowed Shilling to score from second. Lunsford blooped a two-out single behind the second baseman and in front of the right fielder, scoring Rachford and junior Erika Lee (Blanchester, OH/Blanchester) to give WC the one-run lead.

“I was very proud of how our team played,” said Floyd. “This was the first time we have trailed since the season started. They did not hang their heads, didn’t panic. They really stayed strong and motivated throughout the game.”

Wilmington picked up an insurance run in the fifth as Rachford recorded her first collegiate hit, a two-out single that scored pinch runner Katie McDevitt (Salem, OH/Salem) from second. That runs proved pivotal as the Ladies attempted to rally in the seventh.

Kenyon opened the seventh with a single, followed a double-error – one on the catch and another on the throw – that set the Ladies up with runners on first and third with just one out. Senior catcher Kelsey Becker (Clarksville, IN/Clarksville) nearly snuffed out the rally as she threw out the potential tying run on an attempted steal of second.

The caught stealing was a game saver as Kenyon got a double to bring it to within one run at 4-3. After Floyd went to the mound to settle the Lady Quakers, junior Danielle Monnier (Houston, OH/Houston) coerced a game-ending groundout. Monnier (2-0) earned the victory, yielding eight hits over seven innings with three runs (two earned) and a strikeout.

Wilmington (4-0) face Eastern Nazarene 1 p.m. Tuesday and Clark 3 p.m. Tuesday in their third day of the Gene Cusic Classic.

Wilmington @ Kenyon

Monday, March 04, 2013 Final
Fort Myers, FL - Lee County Sports Complex
Monday, March 04, 2013
11:00 AM until 1:00 PM