March 11, 2005
CLEARWATER, Fla. - In the opening games of the Speedline Invitational, the Wildcats lost a pair of narrow decisions to Purdue (12-8) and Oklahoma State (18-8). Villanova (14-8) fell to the Boilermakers by a score of 3-2 in their first game, and then dropped a 5-1 game to the Cowgirls.
In the game against Purdue, all of the game's runs were scored in the second inning. The Boilermakers plated three in the top half of the inning, scoring two runs on a two-out double and getting a third run on an error. In the bottom half of the inning, Kari Koller reached on an error with one out, and Allie Wisniewski followed with a single. The runners moved up to second and third with two out, and Cassie Koenig doubled to right field to close the margin to 3-2.
The Wildcats continued to pressure Purdue for an equalizer throughout the game, but could not come up with another run. In the fourth inning, Villanova had a runner at third and one out after Koller led off the inning with a single. Pinch-runner Jessica Curtis advanced to second on a groundout and went to third on a wild pitch. However, a strikeout and groundout got the Boilermakers out of the inning with the lead intact. The Wildcats also put a runner at third with two out in the sixth and loaded the bases with two out in the seventh, but each time were unable to get the run home.
Kristen Haynes went the distance for Villanova, surrendering just four hits in seven innings, while walking two and striking out five. She allowed three runs, two earned and lowered her season record to 7-4. The Wildcats outhit Purdue 6-4 for the game, but stranded eight runners, including six in scoring position.
In the game against Oklahoma State, the Cowgirls scored single runs in the first and fourth innings to hold a 2-0 lead. With Villanova pressing to get on the board, Oklahoma State scored two insurance runs in the sixth to stretch the margin to 4-0, and added their final run in the top of the seventh. The Wildcats scored their lone run in the bottom half of the seventh, when Koenig's second hit of the game drove in Koller, who had walked.
Koenig had two of Villanova's four hits, while Wisniewski and Lindsey Martin each had one hit. Starting pitcher Shannon Williams went 5.2 innings and took the loss, falling to 7-4 on the season. Williams walked none and struck out eight in her performance, but was also charged with six hits and four runs, three of which were earned.
The Speedline Invitational is being hosted by South Florida from Thursday through Sunday. In the continuation of preliminary round action, Villanova will face Western Michigan and Hofstra on Friday. Semifinal games will be contested on Saturday, with the final scheduled for Sunday.