March 2, 2013
ORLANDO, Fla. - Villanova (5-4) came out strong against Penn Saturday afternoon in a 7-1 victory in Orlando, Fla.. The Wildcats out-hit the Quakers 17-6. Briana Fujii had three hits, including a double; she also earned two RBI's. Amanda Marquez and Ali Lowe also notched three hits apiece in the win.
Penn got on the scoreboard first in the top of the first inning after a double off of Kate Poppe (Downingtown, Pa.) put a player in position to score, giving the Quakers the 1-0 lead. This would be Penn's only lead of the game as Villanova take control for the rest of the contest.
Valerie Ortega (Ventura, Calif.) go things started off in the second inning with a single. She eventually would make it to third base, putting herself in perfect position to cross the plate when Briana Fujii (San Jose, Calif.) drove a single to left field. Fujii would earn the RBI. The Wildcats kept rolling in the second as Ali Lowe's (West Palm Beach, Fla.) singled, followed by Shea Palmer's (Scottsdale, Ariz.) single to the pitcher that brought Fujii across the plate. Taylor Olafson (Jacksonville, Fla.) also notched an RBI in the second inning, giving the Wildcats the 3-1 edge headed into the third inning.
Poppe's powerful pitching with the backup of the Wildcats' defensive wall shut down the Quakers as Penn would go scoreless for the remainder of the game.
Villanova continued to rack up the score in the next four innings. Sierra McConnell (Katy, Texas) and Briana Fujii got a piece of the ball and each registered a hit in the bottom of the third. Ali Lowe's single would bring home a Villanova batter and put the Wildcats up 4-1. Taylor Olafson had another hit in the bottom of the fifth and advanced to third base after a left centerfield single by Beth Smetana (San Diego, Calif.). Valerie Ortega got on base and earned an RBI when she brought Olafson home to extend Villanova's lead to 5-1.
Briana Fujii rocketed a double to right center in the top of the fifth inning give the `Cats a five run lead over Penn. Kaity Sitzman (Tucson, Ariz.) replaced pitcher Kate Poppe in the bottom of the fifth to finish out the game on the mound. Poppe ended the game with six strikeouts; she only gave up three hits in the afternoon contest. Villanova made the score 7-1 in the top of the sixth with singles from Amanda Marquez (Miami, Fla.) and Randi Josett (Agua Dulce, Calif.). Marquez would round the bases and score the seventh run.
In the final inning of play, Ali Lowe found an opening with a single up the left side, but she would be stranded on base as Villanova would defend for one last inning with freshman Samantha Blemker (Camarillo, Calif.) making her college debut on the mound, halting the Quakers from getting on base.
The Wildcats finished the game out-hitting Penn 17-6 and take the 7-1 win in their second to last game at UCF.
The team will play their fifth and final game of the UCF Spring Fling Tournament tomorrow morning at 9:30 AM against Ole Miss. Villanova will look to redeem themselves against the Rebels who took a win over the Wildcats earlier in the tournament.