March 22, 2014
VILLANOVA, Pa. - Behind a strong performance by Georgetown's Lauren O'Leary, the Villanova softball team (8-13) opens conference play with a loss in its home debut as the Hoyas (10-12) topped the Wildcats 7-1 Saturday afternoon at the Villanova Softball Complex.
Villanova falls to 8-13 on the season and 0-1 in the BIG EAST, while Georgetown moves to 10-12 and 1-0 in the conference. O'Leary allowed one run on seven hits en route to a complete game and her fourth win of the year.
Starter Kate Poppe struggled to get in the zone as the Hoyas jumped all over the Wildcats in the first with four runs on five straight hits, including a three run shot over the left centerfield wall by cleanup hitter Megan Hyson. After leading off the game with a single and double, Hannah Slovacek doubled to left center to put the first run on the board.
After Lauren Herschberg flied out to begin the bottom of the second, Natalia Segovia notched a double to centerfield to put a runner in scoring position. Two batters later, Elise Alvarado ripped a single to left center to score Segovia and put Villanova's lone run on the board.
Georgetown would push another run across in the third on a fielding error by Shea Palmer. After a strikeout to get the first batter of the inning, Poppe walked the next hitter and was spelled by Jordan Prutzer. The freshman lefty registered back-to-back strikeouts to leave two runners stranded.
Poppe's record drops to 5-8, after being tagged for five runs (four earned) in two innings. The reigning back-to-back BIG EAST honoree fanned six of the 15 batters she faced.
In the fifth, Georgetown's Taylor Henry drove in her second run of the afternoon on an RBI triple just shy of Natalia Segovia's glove in right field. That run was the only blunder on Prutzer's stat line as she gave up three hits and struck out three in 2.2 innings out of the bullpen.
Kaity Sitzman completed the last two innings for the Wildcats and submitted a run in the sixth on a wild pitch with a runner on third. The senior pitched two innings and yielded four hits and one run.
Freshman Herschberg and junior Alvarado both went 2-3 at the plate. Aleshia Ayers, Palmer and Segovia each added a hit on the afternoon.
The second game of today's doubleheader will begin shortly after the conclusion of the first matchup.
Be sure to follow the team socially on Twitter @VUSoftball, Instagram @novasoftball and Facebook to stay up to date with the latest news, scores and highlights from the Wildcats throughout the season.