Feb. 23, 2013
FORT MEYERS, Fla. - The Wildcats continued their success down in Fort Meyers, Fla. as they took home their third consecutive win over Minnesota 5-4 Saturday morning after going into extra. It was a tough competition through all seven innings, but Amanda Marquez and Beth Smetana's homeruns alongside rookie Kate Poppe's pitching consistency put edged Villanova past the Gophers to take home the victory.
Both teams went scoreless in the first and second innings. Minnesota got on the scoreboard first in the top of the third and took a 3-0 lead over the Wildcats in the middle of the fourth innings. Villanova got a lift offensively from sophomore Beth Smetana (San Diego, Calif.) who rocketed a single run homerun down the left field line.
Villanova held the Gophers back in both the fifth and sixth innings and managed to score a run of their own in each inning. Amanda Marquez (Miami, Fla.) notched her first homer of the season in the bottom of the fifth to left center field and earned herself an RBI. The Wildcats ran one more run in in the sixth to even the score at 3 runs apiece.
Minnesota and Villanova weren't backing down as each team held off the other defensively in the seventh and eighth inning. The Gophers got a burst of intensity in the top of the ninth inning when a single up the middle brought a runner on second home. Minnesota had the lead at 4-3, and Villanova had to score at least one run if they wanted to stay in the game.
Ali Lowe's (West Palm Beach, Fla.) single to left field followed by Shea Palmer's (Scottsdale, Ariz.) reach on a throwing error brought Elise Samoy-Alvarado (Tucson, Ariz.) home to tie up the game at 4-4. The Wildcats continued to fight in the bottom of the ninth and Valerie Ortega's (Ventura, Calif.) single to center field earned her the winning RBI as she brought Shea Palmer home to score fifth and final run, giving the `Cats the 5-4 win over the Gophers.
Kate Poppe (Downingtown, Pa.) earned her third win of the season and had another strong morning on the mound, striking out 11 batters and only giving up seven hits.
Villanova will play again today at 1:30 PM against the host team, FGCU.