Strong Showing by Sitzman Drives Villanova to 2-1 Win
Feb. 28, 2014
VILLANOVA, Pa. - Behind a strong pitching effort from senior Kaity Sitzman, the Villanova softball team earns their second one run victory of the day as the Wildcats knockoff Western Michigan 2-1 at the Eddie C. Moore Complex in Clearwater, Fla.
"We had a great day today. Our pitching staff did a tremendous job as we won two very close games," head coach Maria DiBernardi said.
Villanova extends its winning-streak to a season-high three and moves its record to 5-2, marking the best start since 2012. Western Michigan (6-7) falls below .500 after defeating Mount St. Mary's earlier in the day.
After a scoreless first, the Wildcats jumped on the board first with a pair of runs in the top of the second inning. Brette Lawrence reached base safely to lead off the inning due to a throwing error by the third baseman. Kate Poppe and Shea Palmer would follow that up with a pair of singles to load the bases. With one out, senior co-captain Ali Lowe would come through with her first RBIs of the year following a single to left field to plate Palmer and Segovia.
That was all the run support Sitzman would need as she bounced back to pitch a superb game and earn her first victory of the season. The Tucson, Ariz. product allowed one run on 10 hits en route to the fifth complete game of her career.
"Kaity worked so incredibly hard," DiBernardi added. "I have a lot of confidence in her and she is the type of player that can load the bases and always get out of a jam. She has a lot of poise on the mound as a senior and knows where to put the ball."
Sitzman proved her ability to shake rough starts and escape jams in the bottom of the third with the Broncos threatening. After retiring the leadoff batter, Mackenzie Ritsema would get Western Michigan going with a single on a changeup to centerfield. The next batter would single to centerfield before Loren Nagy lined a single to left to put the Broncos on the board. The following batter would notch the fourth straight hit of the inning to load the bases. Megan Stamm then hit the ball right back to Sitzman who threw it to home for the force out and keep the runner from tying the ball game. Lawarence would then snag a hard ground ball for the unassisted final out of the inning.
Despite a ground-rule double by Melissa Palmer to move to scoring position, the senior would bog down and get the final out to fly out to right field. That would be the last runner to past first the rest of the game as Sitzman cruised through the final three innings to produce her sixth win as a Wildcat.
Six Villanova players combined for seven hits on the afternoon. Freshmen Natalia Segovia, Chase Snell and Lauren Herschberg each nodded a hit to go along with singles by Poppe and Palmer in the second. Lowe was the difference maker as she finished two for four with Villanova's only RBIs of the game.
The Wildcats return to the diamond tomorrow afternoon for a doubleheader against FAU and Kennesaw State. First pitch is set for 2:15 p.m. at the Eddie C. Moore Complex.
Be sure to follow the team socially on Twitter @VUSoftball, Instagram @novasoftball and Facebook to stay up to date with the latest news, scores and highlights from the Wildcats throughout the season.