May 9, 2014
Cover and Interior Photo Credit: Steve Woltmann
ROSEMONT, Ill. - Five seniors helped usher the Hoyas to consecutive BIG EAST Championships, the first two in program history. With a program-best 26 wins and four All-BIG EAST selections, the No. 3 seeded Georgetown softball team (26-22, 12-9 BIG EAST) concluded its season on Friday evening at The Ballpark in Rosemont as the No. 2 seeded St. John's Red Storm (28-22, 13-8 BIG EAST) won the conference semifinal matchup, 5-3.
Coming into the postseason matchup, Georgetown and St. John's were no strangers to close games as the Hoyas edged the Red Storm earlier in the season in a 10-inning game that saw GU win 1-0 on a sacrifice fly.
On Friday in Rosemont, the trend continued as neither team ever gain a lead larger than two runs. St. John's got on the board early after a bases-loaded walk and a sacrifice fly in foul territory down the right field line game the Red Storm the early 2-0 lead.
The Hoyas got a run back in a similar fashion the following inning, manufacturing three walks and then a fourth with the bases loaded to sophomore Taylor Henry (Front Royal, Va./Skyline) to score fellow sophomore Samantha Giovanniello (Floral Park, N.Y./Floral Park Memorial ) from third. Giovanniello scored two runs on the day as the Hoyas drew nine walks against St. John's Tori Free.
With two outs and the bases still loaded in the second, senior Elyse Graziano (Floral Park, N.Y./Sacred Heart Academy) reached base on an error by the St. John's second basemen to tie the game up at 2-2. At the time, GU assembled the two runs without any hits.
SJU then took a 3-2 lead on a sacrifice fly to center field after a walk, stolen base and sacrifice bunt moved the Red Storm player over to third with one out. St. John's extended it to a 4-2 lead with a solo home run to dead center field with two outs in the bottom of the second. Georgetown junior Megan Hyson (Pasadena, Md./Chesapeake) relieved junior starting pitcher Lauren O'Leary (L, 11-11, La Canada, Calif./La Canada) in the circle to retire the final batter of the inning.
Freshman Gabriela Elvina (Edison, N.J./Bishop George Ahr) notched the first hit for GU with two outs in the fourth inning, a single through the left side. The Blue & Gray could not build off the hit as it ended the inning. GU still trailing 4-2.
In the sixth inning, an illegal pitch by St. John's Free during Sophia Gargicevich-Almeida's (Riverside, Calif./Martin Luther King) pinch-hit at bat forced in Giovanniello, cutting the deficit to one. After S. Gargicevich-Almeida drew a two-out walk, Elvina ripped a 2-2 pitch to the warning track in center field. With the wind heading straight out, the SJU center fielder turned directions multiple times before settling under the ball and making the inning-ending catch a couple feet from the wall.
St. John's Jackie Reed hit her second home run of the game to give the Red Storm an insurance run and a 5-3 lead in the bottom of the sixth.
Georgetown brought the top of the order to the plate in the top of the seventh, but Free and the Red Storm retired the Hoyas, in order, to finish of the game.
Hyson went a season-high 4.1 innings in relief with three strikeouts. She gave up three hits and one run in her 18 batters faced. Hyson went 4.1 innings in relief one other time this season on February 8 against Western Kentucky. In the circle on the season, Hyson threw 169.0 innings with 176 strikeouts, 19 complete games, six shutouts and one no-hitter. She finished with a 2.36 ERA
_The game was broadcasted on FOX Sports GO with a delayed taping on FOX Sports 2. This was the first televised game for GU this season.
_Today's contest saw 14 walks between the two squads, a game high for the conference this season. Eight different Hoyas earned walks on the afternoon.
_The Hoyas were held to two hits today. Last season, DePaul edged GU at the BIG EAST Championship as Georgetown was limited to two hits.
_The Hoyas are set to graduate five seniors: Alexandria Anttila, Madeleine Giaquinto, Elyse Graziano, Rachel Nersesian and Hannah Slovacek.
_GU had four All-BIG EAST honorees this season. Graziano was named to the All-BIG EAST First Team, becoming just the second player to do so. Anttila, Samantha Giovanniello and Megan Hyson all earned nods to the second team.
_Graziano finished the season with a .291 batting average, .397 on-base percentage and 19 stolen bases, which led all BIG EAST players. Graziano broke the Georgetown record with 51 career stolen bases.
BIG EAST Championship
_The DePaul Blue Demons will face St. John's tomorrow on FOX Sports 1 at 11 a.m. CT (noon ET) for the BIG EAST title. DePaul earned a 9-1 run-rule victory over the Creighton Bluejays early Friday afternoon.