Two Seventh Inning Runs Push Hoyas Past Wildcats, 5-3
March 23, 2014
VILLANOVA, Pa. - With two outs and a pair of runners on in the seventh, Natalia Segovia misplayed a fly ball to right field, allowing two runs to cross the plate proving to be the difference maker as the Villanova softball team dropped its third game in a row against Georgetown, 5-3. The Wildcats were unable to steal Sunday's matinee at the Villanova Softball Complex as five errors aided the Georgetown sweep dropping Villanova's record to 8-15 on the year and 0-3 in conference.
In the top of the seventh, the Hoyas (12-12, 3-0 BIG EAST) drew a pair of walks to start their rally. That's when Grace Appelbe hit a towering fly to right to bring in two runs and take a 5-3 lead. In the bottom of the inning, Georgetown reliever Lauren O'Leary would secure the win by pitching a scoreless seventh.
O'Leary earned her fifth victory by tossing 2.0 shutout innings out of the bullpen. Starter Megan Hyson gets the no decision after allowing three runs on four hits in five innings.
Kate Poppe falls to 5-10 on the mound this year. She struck out five and allowed four runs, one earned on three hits in 6.2 innings out of the pen.
The Hoyas struck first with one run on three hits off Wildcats starter Jordan Prutzer. The freshman didn't get out of the first after she allowed an RBI single to Hannah Slovacek with a runner on second. Pitcher Hyson singled and then Prutzer hit the next batter before Poppe spelled the starter. With the bases loaded, Poppe escaped the jam with limited damage after recording back-to-back outs.
In the latter half, Shea Palmer reached on a hit by pitch and came around to tie the game on a throw when Sierra McConnell stole second. McConnell and Lauren Herschberg registered back-to-back walks before Stephanie Butler ripped a single to left to load the bases. Poppe fought Hyson's pitches off and drew a seven pitch walk to bring in McConnell and take a 2-1 lead.
Taylor reached in the second on an error by Butler at shortstop to lead off the inning. She advanced to second on a wild pitched and scored to tie the game (2-2) when Hannah Slovacek notched a single to left field. With runners on second and third, Poppe got Hyson to fly out to left to end the threat.
A pair of errors by Villanova put the first two batters on for Georgetown in the fourth. With no outs, Palmer made a spectacular diving catch just shy of the centerfield wall to save a run. Poppe then struck out the next batter for the second out before walking the bases loaded. In a showdown between two of the conference's premiere players, Poppe got Hyson to fly out to center to keep the 2-2 score intact.
With a runner on third and one out in the fifth, Chase Snell stabbed at a groundball and fired home to prevent the go-ahead run from scoring. The next batter would foul out to the first baseman for the third out of the inning.
Villanova would get something going in the bottom of the fifth when Palmer and McConnell nodded consecutive singles with one out. Herschberg then smacked an RBI single off the top of the left center field fence to give the Wildcats a 3-2 advantage.
After a leadoff double in the sixth by catcher Gabriella Elvina, McConnell misjudged a fly ball at shortstop, allowing runners to move to second and third with no outs. The next at bat, Appelbe singled up the middle to tie the game at 3-3. Poppe would strikeout the seceding batter before intentionally walking the bases loaded. The Wildcats would escape the inning after forcing a pop up to shortstop and a strikeout.
Palmer continued her hot hitting, going 2-3 with two runs scored and a stolen base on top of a couple spectacular plays in centerfield. McConnell added a hit and scored, while Herschberg tallied a single with an RBI. Poppe also drove in a run on a walk.
The Wildcats will return to action Wednesday at home for a doubleheader against Lehigh starting at 2:30 p.m.
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.