March 16, 2012
NEWARK, Del. - Villanova (12-4) got a combined three-hit shutout from seniors Molly Manning and Caitlyn Delahaba on their way to a 4-0 victory over Norfolk State (8-7) in the University of Delaware tournament in Newark, Delaware. Offensively, the Wildcats had 10 hits, three from junior catcher Amanda Marquez and two from junior left fielder Taylor Olafson.
Manning (6-1) worked around a lead-off single in the first with back-to-back fielder's choices, followed by her first of four strikeouts on the day. Villanova got to work quickly offensively as freshman right fielder Beth Smetana walked and moved to second on a groundout. Following a wild pitch, senior third baseman Kristi Burlin delivered an RBI single down the left field line to give Villanova 1-0 lead after one inning.
Manning got herself a shut down inning in the second and the Wildcats threatened to add to their lead in the bottom of the frame. Marquez got her first hit of the day to lead off the second and got around to third after back-to-back sacrifice bunts. Smetana then walked and stole second before Olafson hit an infield single that Marquez was unable to advance on which loaded the bases with two outs. Burlin was unable to come up big for a second consecutive time as she flew out to left.
Both teams went scoreless in the third and Manning again sent Norfolk State down in order in the fourth to set the stage for some more Villanova offense. Marquez again singled to lead off the inning and advanced to third on a one-out single by senior center fielder Tessa Braga. Braga advanced to second on a wild pitch right before Smetana reached for the third time in a row with a two-run double to right center field that gave Villanova a 3-0 lead through four innings.
In the fifth, Manning wrapped up her day in the circle after allowing a two-out single. She allowed just three hits on her way to a win. In the bottom of the fifth, back-to-back doubles from freshman Briana Fujii and Marquez got Villanova their fourth run on the day.
Delahaba came in and did some perfect relief work in her two innings. She put together back-to-back perfect innings, including two strikeouts to finish the 4-0 Villanova win.
Villanova will be back in action tomorrow at the University of Delaware tournament against Western Michigan at 11:30.