CLERMONT, Fla. – Senior captain and starting pitcher Julie McDonald threw a complete-game shutout for the Wesleyan University softball team on Wednesday, as the Cardinals opened up their 2018 season with a 4-0 triumph over RPI during their annual spring trip in Clermont, Fla.
HOW IT HAPPENED:
- The game started out as an old-fashioned pitchers' duel, as the contest remained scoreless through three innings, with the two teams only combining for five hits during that span.
- The Cardinals (1-0) broke through in the top of the fourth, as freshman Marina Williams led off with an infield single. Senior captain Rielly Wieners then singled to third base, and a throwing error by RPI (6-4) allowed Williams to cross home with the game-winning run.
- Junior Olivia Gorman added to Wesleyan's lead in the fifth, driving an RBI single up the middle, and freshman Alyssa DaSilva, who led off the inning with a single, scored from third. Wieners, who hails from West Springfield, Mass., kept the rally going with a one-out RBI single to center, plating freshman AyJay Mulholland for the Cardinals' third run.
- Wesleyan ended the scoring in the seventh on an RBI single to left-center by Williams. Mulholland trotted across home plate on the play, as she originally reached on a single to the shortstop, and then advanced to send on a wild pitch.
- McDonald (1-0) was the total package on the hill for the Cardinals, striking out six batters and only allowing six hits, to go along with a 1-2-3 sixth inning. In the third and fourth frames, the Engineers advanced a runner to second with one out, but McDonald, who grew up in Commack, N.Y., was able to get the next two batters out in each inning.
- Engineers sophomore pitcher Jaime Cleasby (0-2) went the distance as well, giving up three earned runs on 12 hits, while striking out two batters and walking one. She retired the side in order during the third and sixth innings.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS:
- Williams, who was making her collegiate debut for Wesleyan, was exceptional, as she went 3-for-4 in the batter's box, to go along with an RBI and a run scored. Mulholland and freshman Danielle Rinaldi also made quite a statement in their collegiate debuts, compiling two hits apiece, while Mulholland scored twice.
- Sophomore Veronica DeStefano led the Engineers with a 2-for-4 effort at the plate, including a double, which was the only extra-base hit in the game.
- McDonald threw 131 pitches with 79 being strikes, and Cleasby found the strike zone on 59-of-88 pitches. RPI left nine runners on base, and Wesleyan stranded six.