Holder's First Collegiate Win Highlights Doubleheader Split
Winter Haven, FL. – The Wheeling University Softball team (7-6, 0-0) continued their spring trip on Thursday with two more at the Auburndale softball complex in Winter Haven, Florida. They opened the day with a strong 9-0 win over Edinboro and wrapped things up with a 6-1 loss to Northwoods. The Cardinals are now 3-3 on this road trip and look to preserve at least an even record on the trip with at least one win tomorrow.
Game One: Wheeling 9, Edinboro 0
In the first game of the day, Wheeling sent freshman Randi Holder to the mound for her second start of the season. She dazzled on the mound throwing a complete-game three-hitter while retiring the last 12 batters she faced. She earned her first collegiate win, throwing the 7.0 innings while allowing just three hits, walking one, and striking out one in the game. The offense was able to help her out early in the game, and that gave her the confidence she needed to get through the first complete-game effort of her collegiate career.
After being held off the board in the first, the Cardinals got the second inning started with a leadoff single courtesy of Gina Fogle. That brought Autumn Oehlstrom to the plate and she launched a two-run shot over the left-field wall to get the Cardinals out in front 2-0. After that, the Cardinals had three straight groundouts to end the inning. A couple of innings later, the Cardinals were back in business with Oehlstrom being right in the middle of the action. She line a one-out double and gave the Cardinals a runner in scoring position with one out.
Cassi Roman stepped up and continued her big trip as she doubled home Oehlstrom and gave Wheeling a 3-0 lead. After a pop-out forced the second out of the inning, Cass Feyh stepped to the plate and picked up the runner from second with a clutch RBI single that brought home Roman and doubled the Wheeling lead to 4-0. The Cardinals would be held off the board in the fourth but came back in the fifth with a three-run outburst. Taylor Hradek walked to start the inning, and two batters later Brooke Slomkowski walked to put two on and two out. Fogle would pick up her first RBI of the game lining an RBI double that made it 5-0. Oehlstrom added a sacrifice fly and a Roman double made it a 7-0 affair.
The final two runs of the game came off the bat of Roman as she lifted her third home run of the trip over the left-field wall to extend Wheeling's lead to 9-0. Holder retired the final three batters in order and gave Wheeling their third win of the trip and improved them to 7-5 on the season. Oehlstrom led the offensive attack, going 2-3 with a home run, three RBI, and two runs scored. Fogle added a 3-4 night while scoring a team-high three runs and driving in one while Roman went 3-4 with a home run, double, and four RBI. The Cardinals were looking to carry some of that momentum with them into game two of the night.
Game Two: Northwoods 6, Wheeling 1
In the second game of the day, Wheeling battled Northwoods University from Michigan. Aubrie Lafferty got the start and after a clean first inning, the Timberwolves got to her for a run in the top of the second inning. In total, Lafferty threw 6.0 innings of work and gave up four runs on eight hits while walking one and striking out two. It was a strong showing once again for the sophomore and, aside from a two-run home run in the top of the fourth, she pitched a really good game against a tough Timberwolves team. Lafferty was relieved by Madison Macy in the top of the seventh, and was taxed with a two-run home run, but got out of the inning allowing just those two earned runs while allowing a walk and a hit.
The Cardinals' lone run of the game would come in the bottom of the fourth and kept things at a three-run game. Oehlstrom, who had a strong day overall, singled to start the inning and was pinch ran for by Natalie Stoner. Stoner used her speed and heads up base running to get to third on a wild pitch and a stolen base, and gave Wheeling their first runner on third base of the game. Stoner would come in when the next batter, Alisa Shelt, lined an RBI single to center bringing Stoner home and making it a 4-1 game. Unfortunately, that was the only run that Wheeling would get in the game, but they battled until the end and remained competitive throughout the night.
Oehlstrom was the only Cardinal to pick up multiple hits in the game, going 2-3 with two singles, and Shelt drove in the team's only RBI. Shelt finished the day 1-2 with an RBI and Cassi Roman and Maddie Munoz each also picked up hits in the game. The Cardinals now sit at 3-3 on their current spring road trip and can secure at least a .500 trip if they can pick up at least one win in tomorrow's final doubleheader.
The Wheeling University Softball team wraps up their time in Winter Haven, Florida on Friday when they play a doubleheader. They battle Cedarville in the morning game at 9 AM, followed by a game against Millersville at 11:30 AM.