March 16, 2013
NEWARK, Del. - On a cold and dreary day the only scoring in the game came in the early innings and Villanova (9-8) was unable to rally in a 3-1 loss to St. Francis (Pa.) (14-7) at the UD Softball Stadium early Saturday afternoon. The game was the second of four the Wildcats are playing in the Delaware Spring Invitational this weekend.
Villanova got on the board first with a run in the top of the second inning but the Red Flash answered with two runs in the bottom half of the inning to take a 2-1 lead. Another run scored for St. Francis in the bottom of the third inning to make the margin 3-1 and neither team was able to generate additional scoring from that point on.
Senior first baseman Valerie Ortega (Ventura, Calif.) hit an RBI double in the second inning to deliver the Wildcats only run. Sophomore designated hitter Beth Smetana (San Diego, Calif.) led off the inning with a walk and Ortega followed with a double to left field which allowed Smetana to score. After the run scored Villanova managed just four other base runners the rest of the game.
Ortega and sophomore right fielder Elise Samoy Alvarado (Tucson, Ariz.) each had doubles for the Wildcats, who were held to four hits by Red Flash pitcher Ketarah DeVries (9-4, 2.00 ERA), who went the distance while walking one and striking out one to earn the victory. Junior shortstop Ali Lowe (West Palm Beach, Fla.) and sophomore third baseman Briana Fujii (San Jose, Calif.) had the other Villanova hits.
In the bottom of the second inning St. Francis had runners at first and second with one out when Brianna Garcia singled to center field to drive in the first Red Flash run. There was still just one out and the bases were loaded when Samantha Thomas reached on an error that allowed Taylor Darneille to score the go-ahead run.
The final run of the game also came on an unearned run with the bases loaded and one out. That was the situation in the bottom of the third inning when Darneille was at the plate and was awarded first base on catcher's interference, forcing Chelsy Cosentino in to score. Sophomore starting pitcher Ali Angelbello (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) pitched the first 2 1/3 innings for the Wildcats and was charged with three runs, though just one of those runs was earned. She struck out two and did not walk a batter in her second start of the season.
Freshman pitcher Kate Poppe (Downingtown, Pa.) relieved Angelbello after the catcher's interference call and registered two strikeouts to end the inning. Poppe went the final 3 2/3 innings in relief for Villanova and allowed just one hit and one walk while striking out seven.
The game against St. Francis was the only contest scheduled on Saturday for the Wildcats, who wrap up tournament play on Sunday with a doubleheader. Villanova faces Norfolk State at 11:15 a.m. and then takes on tournament host Delaware at 3:45 p.m.