March 21, 2009
VILLANOVA, Pa. - In the first game of a doubleheader on Saturday afternoon, Villanova (12-4) won its home opener by an 8-3 count over Lehigh (10-11) at the Villanova Softball Field. The Wildcats won for the eighth time in the last nine games in their first action since wrapping up the USF-Under Armour Invitational in Florida on March 8.
Senior Meghan Morese (Laguna Hills, Calif.) had three hits and three players drove in two runs as Villanova built an early lead and never looked back. The Mountain Hawks opened the scoring with a single run in the top of the first inning but the Wildcats roared back with four runs in the bottom of the second, two more in the third and one in the fourth to go ahead 7-1.
The four-run rally in the bottom of the second inning began after Villanova loaded the bases with one out. After sophomore Christina Botkins (San Jose, Calif.) singled home the tying run, Lehigh induced a fielder's choice in the infield that resulted in a force play for the second out. The Wildcats executed well with two away however, as junior Danielle Maricle (Valencia, Calif.) doubled down the left field line to bring in two runs and freshman Tessa Braga (Scottsdale, Ariz.) singled to account for the fourth run.
In the third inning, freshman Kristi Burlin (Roseville, Calif.) lofted a sacrifice fly to right field and Botkins doubled home a run. Morese delivered run-scoring singles in the fourth and sixth innings to close the scoring for Villanova.
The early runs supported freshman starter Caitlyn Delahaba (Ashburn, Va.), who struck out six over four innings to record her eighth win of the season. Delahaba (8-4) scattered three hits and one run while walking three. Senior Megan Hord (Kissimmee, Fla.) registered her fourth save of the season with three innings of relief, in which she struck out five while allowing two runs (one earned) on three hits.
Teague and junior Jess O'Boyle (Verona, N.J.) finished two hits and two runs scored for the Wildcats.
Six different batters all had one hit for the Mountain Hawks, who added single runs in the fifth and seventh innings. Audra Wood scored two runs and Jennifer Colquhoun had a pair of RBI for Lehigh, while Lisa Sweeney went 1-for-2 with two walks and a run scored.
Sweeney was the starting pitcher for the Mountain Hawks and allowed nine hits and seven earned runs in four innings, while walking one and striking out three.
The second game of Saturday's doubleheader began at 3:35 p.m.