Wildcats Shutout in Conference Opener, Fall to Georgetown 2-0
March 23, 2013
WASHINGTON, D.C. - In the conference opener for both teams on Saturday afternoon Villanova (11-10, 0-1 BIG EAST was held to five hits and could not come back from an early deficit in a 2-0 loss to Georgetown (9-20, 1-0 BIG EAST at Guy Mason Field. The contest was the first game of a doubleheader and the Hoyas won by a 2-1 margin in the nightcap.
In the bottom of the first inning a walk with two outs and the bases loaded gave Georgetown a 1-0 lead that it would never relinquish. That was despite the fact that the Wildcats mounted their best scoring threats of the game in the top of the second and third innings when there was still just a one-run margin.
Senior first baseman Valerie Ortega (Ventura, Calif.) and senior right fielder Julie Smith (Dana Point, Calif.) each singled in the top of the second inning and Villanova had runners at first and second before Hoyas pitcher Lauren O'Leary registered a strikeout to end the inning.
In the top of the third inning senior catcher Amanda Marquez (Miami, Fla.) singled and junior shortstop Ali Lowe (West Palm Beach, Fla.) walked with one out. The runners moved up to second and third on a fly out by sophomore designated hitter Beth Smetana (San Diego, Calif.), and Ortega walked to load the bases. O'Leary (6-10, 5.30 ERA) once again ended the inning on a strikeout and Villanova had just two more base runners the rest of the way.
O'Leary went the distance for a five-hit shutout and wound up retiring 13 of the final 15 batters she faced. She walked two and struck out nine in the game, which was played in cold temperatures that topped out in the upper-40's and made offense hard to come by both ways.
After the two potential rallies by the Wildcats in the second and third innings came up short the Hoyas extended their lead in the bottom half of the third inning. Shikara Lowe led off the inning with a walk and Alexandria Anttila singled, but Villanova freshman pitcher Kate Poppe (Downingtown, Pa.) struck out the next two batters. She was on the verge of escaping the inning with no damage done when Megan Hyson singled to drive in Lowe and make the score 2-0.
Poppe (11-5, 1.95 ERA) started and pitched the first four innings for the Wildcats, allowing four hits and two earned runs while walking three and striking out four. Sophomore Ali Angelbello (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) pitched two scoreless innings in relief and allowed two hits and a walk.
The game story from the second game of the doubleheader will be posted later on Saturday night.