March 9, 1998
VILLANOVA, Pa. - Traveling to Ft. Myers, Fla. for their annual Spring Break trip from Feb. 27 through Mar. 8, the Villanova University softball team posted a 9-6 record. Led by sophomore pitcher Carrie Walpole, Villanova turned around a 1-4 start to win eight of their last 10 games. Walpole tallied a 4-0 record during the trip, throwing three shutouts, a no-hitter and tying the Wildcat single-game strikeout record with 14.
After losing to Harvard 1-0 and to Furman 7-2, Villanova got back on track with their first victory of the season on Monday, March 2, in a 3-0 win over Florida International. Walpole got the complete game shutout for the Wildcats, giving up only four hits over seven innings, while striking out eight.
Villanova lost their next two games, 8-0 to Illinois-Chicago, and 7-1 to Florida Atlantic, before Walpole struck once again. Against Saginaw Valley on Thursday, March 5, Walpole pitched four shutout innings surrending only two hits for her second victory of the season in as many starts. Leading the Cats offensive charge was sophomore Megan O'Leary who went two-for-two with two RBI.
In their second game of the day, Villanova defeated Grand Valley State, 13-2, for their second consecutive victory. Senior Jessica DeLuca led the Wildcats, as she tied the school record for hits in a game with four. DeLuca went four-for five on the day, with a home run and three RBI. On the basepaths, the Villanova record holder for thefts in a season, also stole two bases in two attempts. Freshman pitcher Keri Stoller got her first career win for the Cats striking out six batters in five innings.
With a 7-0 loss to Gannon and their record standing at 3-5, the Wildcats' spark came through once again, as Walpole shut down LaSalle throwing a no-hitter in Villanova's 4-0 win. Facing 23 batters, Walpole struck out six and did not walk a batter in seven innings, as she improved her record to 3-0.
The Wildcats' victory over Gannon began a run where Villanova went on to win six consecutive games, bringing their record to 9-5. Walpole and Stoller won two games during the streak, while senior Jennifer Cornelius won her first game of the season in a 8-4 victory over Findlay. In the Wildcats' next contest against Slippery Rock on Tuesday, Mar. 7, Walpole reached yet another feat, tying the school record for strikeouts in a game, tallying 14 while walking only three in her fourth victory.
Despite coming up on the short end of a 3-2 score against Holy Cross in their last game of the trip on, Saturday March 7, the Wildcats ended the week winning eight of their last 10 games to improve their record to 9-6 after a 1-4 start.
Villanova will continue
their season on March 14-15,
in the City Six Tournament held at Temple and LaSalle.