March 17, 2012
NEWARK, Del. - Villanova (14-4) polished off a two win day by shutting out La Salle (3-12) by a score of 8-0 in just five innings of play at the University of Delaware tournament. Senior Molly Manning (7-1) was outstanding in the circle with her second shutout of the season and senior Kristi Burlin hit a home run, had three runs scored and three RBIs as part of a 13-hit Wildcat attack.
Manning worked a perfect first inning, and for the Wildcats at the plate, junior first baseman Valerie Ortega had her first of two hits on the day with two outs in the first, but she was gunned down stealing to end the first inning scoreless.
In the second inning, Manning added two strikeouts to her ledger with her second straight 1-2-3 inning as she came out throwing great while retiring the first six hitters. In the bottom of the inning, Burlin walked and came around to third base on a double off the bat of Manning, her first of two hits on the afternoon. Junior catcher Amanda Marquez then executed a perfect squeeze to score Burlin as she reached first base and Villanova led 1-0. Marquez was caught stealing before sophomore shortstop Ali Lowe had an RBI bunt single to score Manning as Villanova held a 2-0 advantage after two innings.
In the third, Manning allowed her first runner of the day with a lead-off single, but killed any ideas of a rally with two more strikeouts. She would retire the Explorers in order in the top of the fourth as well after the Wildcats went quietly in the third.
In the bottom of the fourth, Villanova added two more insurance runs to swell their lead. Burlin hit a single to right before freshman second baseman Briana Fujii hit an RBI double to left-center field that scored Burlin and the Wildcats led 3-0. Two batters later, Marquez had her second RBI hit of the day to left field to grow Villanova's lead to 4-0 through four innings.
In the fifth, Manning allowed a one-out single, but a fielder's choice followed by Manning's sixth strikeout of the day ended the Explorer fifth. When the Wildcats came to bat, they put the game away with a four-run outburst. Freshman Beth Smetana walked to lead-off the inning before Ortega had her second hit of the day up the middle. In stepped Burlin and she delivered a 3-run bomb to deep left-center field to push the Villanova lead all the way to 7-0. Manning hit a one-out single through the left side and Marquez followed with a bunt single to put two runners on. After a fielder's choice and a walk to load the bases, senior outfielder Shannon O'Brien came to the plate with a chance to end the game after five innings. She did just that with an infield single and Villanova walked off winners by a score of 8-0, their third in a row and 12th in their last 13 games.
Villanova will look to finish off a four win weekend with a win over Delaware tomorrow at 3:30.