Caldwell Community College and Technical Institute’s softball team swept a doubleheader against NJCAA Region 10 Division II rival Catawba Valley Community College, winning by scores of 5-1 and 7-2 in a twin bill that started Saturday but had to be concluded on Tuesday due to rain over the weekend.
In Game 1, which started at Hibriten High School on Saturday, Caldwell got the game’s first run in the bottom of the first inning when Cierra Martin drove in Jenna Davis with a RBI double, after Davis had reached on an error. Storms moved into the area, halting the game after the top half of the second inning with Caldwell leading 1-0.
Game 1 resumed in the bottom of the second inning Tuesday at Optimist Park, and Caldwell wasted little time extending its lead. Davis drew a bases-loaded walk to give Caldwell a 2-0 advantage.
Catawba Valley would cut the Cobras’ lead in half in the top of the third. After loading the bases with no outs, the Red Hawks’ Cali Hinnant would deliver a fly ball to right field, allowing Ashlyn Parsons to tag up and score, making the score 2-1.
The Cobras would answer back with two runs in the bottom of the third. Savanna Doyle hit a two-run home run with two outs, pushing the Caldwell advantage to 4-1. Doyle would pick up her third RBI of the game with a triple in the bottom of the fifth inning, giving Caldwell a 5-1 lead.
Caldwell’s Jada Wilson was dominant on the mound, picking up her ninth victory in the circle this season. She went seven innings, allowed five hits, one run (earned), while walking five and striking out seven.
In Game 2, Caldwell capitalized on three Catawba Valley errors in the first inning, scoring seven runs after sending 10 batters to the plate. Abby Reeves led off the bottom of the first with a single. She was followed by Jenna Davis, who reached on a fielder’s choice. Martin would then single to load the bases, followed by a two-RBI single from Bri Lewis. After a pitching change for the Red Hawks, Mackenzie Johnson delivered a two-RBI double to give the Cobras a 4-0 lead. Three errors by Catawba Valley would plate three more runs for the Cobras, giving the home team a 7-0 lead after one inning complete.
Catawba Valley would show life in the fifth inning. Parsons led off the inning with a solo home run to left center field, giving the visitors their first run of the game. Grace Andrews would follow with a double off the wall in center field and would be driven in thanks to an RBI single by Alleigh Himes. With the score 7-2, Wilson would come in to pitch for Caldwell, getting ground outs to turn away the Red Hawks’ threat in the fifth.
Ashlyn Castle picked up the victory in the circle in game two for Caldwell, pitching four and a third innings, allowing four hits, two runs (both earned), while walking two and striking out three.
With the sweep, Caldwell improved to 17-7 overall and 8-2 in Region 10 Division II play. Catawba Valley falls to 15-7 overall, 6-4 in Region 10 Division II. The two teams are scheduled to face each other again in a doubleheader in Hickory on May 1.
Johnson’s walk-off homer makes NJCAA’s Plays of the Week
Mackenzie Johnson’s walk-off home run against Spartanburg Methodist in Caldwell’s 1-0 Game 2 victory on March 24 was named one of the NJCAA’s top plays for the week of March 22-28. The play was No. 7 on this week’s list.
Baseball Cobras earn first-ever national rankingFor the first time in program history, Caldwell earned a top-10 ranking in the latest NJCAA Division III poll that was released on Monday. The Cobras, ranked 10th, have a 11-6 record and have won six games in a row. The Cobras return home to Walker Stadium, where they are 7-0 on the season, on Friday in a doubleheader against Division II Wake Tech starting at 1 p.m.