|Seahawks Douse Dragons In Series Finale|
PHILADELPHIA – Freshman Merritt Wilkinson went 2-for-3 with two RBI to lead UNCW to a 10-2 victory over Drexel in the finale of a three-game Colonial Athletic Association series Sunday at Drexel Field.
The Seahawks improved to 15-15 overall and 2-1 in CAA play as they captured their inaugural league series of the season while the Dragons moved to 8-12 and 1-2 with the setback.
Wilkinson paced a potent UNCW lineup that finished with 12 base hits in the contest as sophomore Erin Brown was 2-for-4 and freshman Lauren Moore went 2-for-2 with three runs scored. Senior Casey Shue was 1-for-3 with three RBI while fellow senior Brittany Gamby drove in two runs.
Junior Leticia Matsuoka was 2-for-4 with a RBI and junior Liana Newton was 2-for-3 with a run batted in for Drexel. Senior Shelby Taylor was 1-for-3 to account for the Dragons fifth and final base hit of the contest.
Junior left-hander Casey Rowland picked up the victory for UNCW to improve to 8-6 on the season. Rowland allowed two runs (one earned) on five hits and one walk in seven innings of work. She struck out eight.
Taylor took the loss for the Dragons as she pitched six innings, allowing eight runs (five earned) on nine hits and four walks. Lee pitched the final inning for Drexel and surrendered two runs on three hits and one walk.
HOW IT HAPPENED: UNCW raced out to a 1-0 lead in the top of the first as Gamby opened the game with a walk and later scored on a Drexel error.
The Dragons would tie the game at 1-all in the bottom of the second on a RBI single by Newton, but UNCW responded with two runs in the top of the third on a run-scoring groundout by Gamby and a Drexel error to take a 3-1 lead.
A three-run home run by Shue in the top of the fifth expanded the UNCW cushion to 6-1 before a two-run single in the sixth by Wilkinson and a pair of run-scoring singles from senior Morgan Ayers and freshman Lauren Moore in the seventh gave the Seahawks a commanding 10-1 cushion. Drexel closed out the scoring with a solo home run by Matsuoka in the bottom of the seventh.
INSIDE THE BOXSCORE: The two teams combined to leave 13 runners on base (UNCW 6; Drexel 7) … UNCW was 6-for-8 in stolen base attempts … The Seahawks bottom two hitters (Morgan Ayers and Lauren Moore) went a combined 4-of-6 with four runs scored … Eight of UNCW’s nine starters reached base in the contest.
QUOTABLE: "We were able to get six leadoff hitters on base today and then executed well in those situations to score runs. (Casey) Rowland had a great game in the circle and had great control all seven innings. Today was as much a team win as we've had this season as everyone stepped up to the challenge of winning the series." - UNCW Head Coach Kristy Norton
NOTES: The Seahawks improved to 15-21 all-time against Drexel … UNCW scored 10 or more runs in a game for the fourth time this season and improved to 4-0 when doing so … The Seahawks also out-hit their opponent for the 15th time this season and move to 12-3 when accomplishing that feat … UNCW scored in the first inning for the 16th time this season and improved to 10-6 when doing so … Freshman Merritt Wilkinson has now reached base safely in 21 straight contests … Junior Jessica Sanabria got her first hit as a Seahawk with a pinch-hit double … Sophomore Erin Brown has now reached base in nine straight games … Freshman Lauren Moore has recorded a base hit in each of the past four games.