Seahawks advance to CAA Championship Game

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ELON, North Carolina – UNCW’s No. 3 softball team broke for nine hits to advance to the 2022 Colonial Athletic Association Championship Game for the first time ever with a 4-1 win over No. 1 Delaware at the Hunt Softball Park Friday morning.

The Seahawks, 31-13, are one win away from their first CAA title in the program’s 38-year history. UNCW plays for the CAA crown at noon Saturday. The Blue Hens, 29-14, will face a playoff game against No. 4 Elon or No. 5 Charleston on Friday afternoon.

First year beginner Kara Hammock allowed three hits and a run in four innings for his first CAA Tournament victory. First-year student Emily Winstead locked out the last three innings for his second career stoppage.

Delaware rookie Graceyn Frost went 4.2 innings, allowing seven hits and three runs, in the loss.

UNCW scored one run apiece in the first three innings and never looked back. In a repeat of Thursday’s win over sophomore Hofstra Taylor Vitola started the day with a single down the middle and stole second. Senior Janel Gamache followed with a hard liner to Frost, who snagged it and attempted to double Vitola. The throw was out of line and another throwing error allowed Vitola to score.

third baseman Anna Knox took the first pitch of the second inning off the right-field wall for his fifth homer of the season. It was the grad student’s back and forth since Feb. 26 against Canisius.

Gamache started the third with a deep center double. The Exeter, RI product took third place on a passed ball with Mackenzie Amodeo on the plate. On the next pitch, Amodeo fired a single down the left side to tackle Gamache.

The Blue Hens got on the board in the fourth inning when Brittney Mendoza and Halle Kisamore chained back-to-back doubles. With Kisamore in second, Delaware’s Kailey Christian kicked a fly ball to center that landed in the glove of Camryn Deanwho threw Kisamore trying to move into third to escape the jam.

UNCW’s fourth inning came in the top of the fifth when Gamache scored a one-out right-sided single. Two batters later Morgan Britt hat-trick in the center that scored Taylor Smith, who ran for Gamache.

Kisamore attempted to start a rally in the seventh inning with a brace down the left field line. A sack-fly by Hanna Garber, Delaware’s third baseman, scored Kisamore, but Winstead locked the final to send the Seahawks to the title round.

PLAY NOTES: The win is the Seahawks’ first over a No. 1 seed in five CAA tournament appearances … Vitola tied a career high with three stolen bases … UNCW is 3-0 against Delaware at the CAA Championships … UNCW won three-games in a row…Eight Seahawks recorded a hit, including Gamaches’ two-hit day…Seahawks increased their school save tally to seven…Hammock and Winstead recorded all outings for UNCW in the CAA tournament. UNCW turned two double plays.

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