MADERIA BEACH, Fla.- The Villanova softball team (3-7 overall, 0-0 BIG EAST) wrapped up play today as they fell to Central Arkansas 9-6 and lost to Loyola 6-2. The team returns to action on Mar. 9 when they head to Clearwater, Florida to compete in the USF Under Armor Showcase where they will face Army West Point at 11:30 a.m. followed by a game against host USF at 2:00 p.m.
Villanova vs. Central Arkansas
After starting pitcher Anissa Amarillas was able to get out of an early bases loaded jam in the first, Villanova would start the scoring early in the second inning. Senior Nikki Alden lead of the inning with a double to right center followed by a Dana Morris single down the right field line to move Alden to third with no outs. Then senior Natalia Segovia boomed a double to left center which scored in Alden and moved Morris to third giving the Wildcats the lead 1-0.
Caroline Jones then stepped into the box and singled up the middle to score in Morris and move Segovia to third. Brittany Husk would then single scoring in Caroline Jones to give the Wildcats a 3-0 lead. A single by Anissa Amarillas would close the scoring in the inning to put Villanova ahead after one and a half innings 4-0.
Central Arkansas would shrink the Wildcat lead to just two after a single brought in two runs to make the score after two innings 4-2.
After Villanova was unable to score in the third, Central Arkansas would tie the game up at 4-4 after a two-run homerun by Libby Morris. Then the next batter for the Bears would also drive in a homerun to give Central Arkansas the lead 5-4. The Bears would add more in the fifth as a single was able to score in the runner from second to give the Bears a 6-4 lead.
In the top of the sixth, Caroline Jones would send her first homer of the season to dead center to put the game within just one run as the Bears lead was now just 6-5. Villanova would put two runners on later in the inning after singles were hit by Angela Giampolo and Brittany Husk respectively. But they were unable to score leaving the score still at 6-5.
In the seventh after Amarillas was able to put away the Bears allowing no runs, she would respond at the plate with a solo homerun left center to tie the game up 6-6. That is Amarillas’s fourth home run of the year. Amarillas kept her strong pitching going as the game would head to extras after Anissa would not allow any runs in the bottom of the seventh.
After Becky Ducar was placed on second to begin extra innings, Villanova would be unable to score in the runner giving the Bears a chance to win the game in the bottom of the eighth.
Central Arkansas would win the game off a game winning three-run homerun by Cilla Hill making the final score 9-6 in favor of the Bears. Villanova drops to 3-6 while Central Arkansas improves to 7-9.
Villanova vs. Loyola
Villanova would begin the scoring in the first inning after a pair of singles by Brittany Husk and Lauren Hanna, Dana Morris would come in clutch for the Wildcats as she singled to right field which scored in Hanna and gave Villanova the 1-0 lead after one inning.
Loyola able to tie the game up in the second after pitcher Taylor Rhinehart loaded the bases to start the inning, Loyola’s Shannon McGee singled to bring in a runner from third to make the score 1-1. The Ramblers would add one more in the inning to take a 2-1 lead at the end of one and half innings.
Villanova would go down in order one, two, three in the bottom of the inning due to strong pitching by the Ramblers.
The top of the third inning would be fast as Rhinehart would only allow one runner on and then Villanova would be able to turn a double play after the batter lined out to Brittany Husk as she was able to pick off the runner at first after the catch. Villanova would not be able to do much as the team was unable to put a runner on in the inning.
Strong pitching by Taylor Rhinehart would keep the score at 2-1 heading into the bottom of the fourth inning. Dana Morris would get a single as the second batter in the inning but was unable to move around the bases due to two strikeouts which ended the inning.
In the bottom of the fifth, Villanova would lead off the inning with a single by Brittany Husk and shortly after she would steal second to set her up in scoring position. Lauren Hanna would then nail a single at the shortstop as Husk moved to third on the play. Due to a throwing error in the play, Husk would be able to score to tie the game up at 2-2.
Loyola would lead of the top of the sixth with a single to put a runner on with no outs. After a sacrifice bunt moved the runner over to second base, Caitlyn Dickman was taken out of the game and Gabby Wenn went in to replace her. The Ramblers would hit a single to right field which had runners on first and third with one out. The next batter would sacrifice bunt to score the runner from third to give Loyola the 3-2 lead.
Villanova was unable to score in the bottom of the inning after Caroline Jones was able to belt a single to right field.
Loyola would break the game open as the Ramblers Emily Borg launched a three-run homerun to give Loyola a 6-2 lead.
Villanova would show an ounce of life after Lauren Hanna knocked a single into left center with two outs in the bottom of the seventh. But the Wildcats were unable to capitalize on the runner as Villanova lost by a final goal 6-2.
Villanova drops to 3-7 on the season as Loyola improves to 7-7.
The team returns to action on Mar. 9th when they head to Clearwater Florida to compete in the USF Under Armor Showcase where they will face Army West Point at 11:30 a.m. followed by a game against host USF at 2:00 p.m.