March 22, 2014
Saturday, March 22
Georgetown at Villanova | W, 7-1
Georgetown at Villanova | W, 9-1 (5)
Sunday, March 23
Georgetown at Villanova | noon |
WASHINGTON - The Georgetown softball team (11-12, 2-0 BIG EAST) used three big innings and three home runs to take both games of the doubleheader on Saturday from the Villanova Wildcats (8-14, 0-2 BIG EAST) as they opened BIG EAST play on the road this weekend in Pennsylvania. Georgetown beat the Wildcats 7-1 in the first game and then earned a five-inning, 9-1 mercy-rule victory in game two. The Hoyas moved back within a game of .500 and have a chance to reach the mark tomorrow afternoon in the series-finale.
"Our hitters did a great job of making adjustments throughout their at bats and picking good pitches to hit," said Georgetown Head Coach Pat Conlan. "Anytime you can put numbers up in bunches means you are going to have a good day. We did it in both games and it takes pressure off our pitchers and defense."
Game One: Georgetown 7, Villanova 1
Senior Elyse Graziano (Floral Park, N.Y./Sacred Heart Academy) started off the game with a leadoff single through the right side. Sophomore Grace Appelbe (Phoenix, Ariz./Xavier College Prep) doubled to put runners on second and third for Hannah Slovacek (Austin, Texas/Westlake), who doubled to score Graziano. Junior Megan Hyson (Pasadena, Md./Chesapeake) then crushed a home run with Appelbe and Slovacek on base to give the Hoyas a 4-0 lead after the first. It was Hyson's third homer of the season.
Georgetown would tack on one run in each of the third, fifth and sixth innings.
Junior Lauren O'Leary (4-6, La Canada, Calif./La Canada) threw one of two great pitching performances for the Hoyas' on the day. O'Leary tossed a complete game, seven-inning effort with three strikeouts to only one walk. She allowed seven hits, but Villanova was only able to get one earned run off her in the second inning on a single.
Graziano finished the game going 4-for-5 for her first four-hit game of her career. Appelbe and Samantha Giovanniello also each recorded two-hit games.
Taylor Henry (Front Royal, Va./Skyline) had two RBIs in the first win including an RBI triple in the fifth inning for Georgetown's sixth run scored on the day.
Georgetown used the momentum of the first game to pick up the victory in the second game.
Game Two: Georgetown 9, Villanova 1 (5 innings)
The Hoyas used big third and fifth inning rallies to defeat the Wildcats 9-1 in the five-inning affair.
Georgetown started the third inning with a leadoff walk drawn by Graziano, who went 2-for-3 in game two. After a stolen base and a single by Appelbe, the Hoyas had runners on second and third with no outs; mirroring the game one situation. A sacrifice fly by Slovacek scored Graziano and moved Appelbe over to third.
Megan Hyson built on the 1-0 lead when she doubled on the first pitch of her at bat to scored Appelbe for the second run. Samantha Giovanniello (Floral Park, N.Y./Floral Park Memorial) and Alexandria Anttila (Antioch, Ill./Antioch Community) then helped the Hoyas put a crooked number up with back-to-back home runs. Giovanniello's was a two-run shot and her first since March 17, 2013. Anttila hit her solo shot on a 2-2 pitch for her third on the season, tying her with Hyson for the team-best. Georgetown had secured a 5-0 lead when it was all said and done.
Hyson (7-6) came out in the circle the following half inning and put the Wildcats down in order with two swinging strikeouts. The junior finished with 10 strikeouts on the day in only five innings. It marked the second straight game where she recorded double digit strikeouts. It was the sixth time Hyson recorded 10-plus strikeouts in a game. Hyson only allowed three hits in the game and did not walk a single Wildcat.
"Megan and Lauren pitched very well," said Conlan. "They controlled the game from the first pitch. They executed and our defense made great plays. It was a total team effort."
The Wildcats scored their only run in the 9-1 rout in the fourth inning. After an error and a two-out double, Villanova used a second Georgetown error to score.
Georgetown put up four more runs in the fifth to earn the mercy-rule victory. Villanova recorded two quick outs before Georgetown used four hits and two Wildcat errors to score four more runs to put the game out of reach. Madeline Giaquinto (Falls Church, Va./Bishop O'Connell) tallied an RBI single on a pinch hit opportunity and would eventually come around to score on an error on another play. Henry and Graziano also recorded RBI singles in the inning to make it 9-1.
The Wildcats got one hit in the fifth, but Hyson struck out two and got the final batter to popout to Appelbe in foul territory to end the game.
Georgetown is back at it tomorrow with one game against Villanova at noon to end the three-game series. Live stats are available.