April 1, 2013
VILLANOVA, Pa. - In the second game of a doubleheader Villanova (12-16) put the tying runs on base with two outs in the bottom of the seventh inning but came up just short in a 5-3 loss to La Salle (11-12) at the Villanova Softball Complex on Monday afternoon. Earlier in the day the Wildcats had registered a 4-0 win in the opening game.
In the nightcap Villanova scored twice in the bottom of the first inning on a run-scoring single up the middle by sophomore designated player Beth Smetana (San Diego, Calif.) and an RBI double off the right field fence by senior first baseman Valerie Ortega (Ventura, Calif.). Explorers starting pitcher Mary Beth Scott (4-3, 3.99 ERA) retired the next two batters to end the inning however, and kept the Wildcats off the scoreboard from that point until the bottom of the seventh inning.
La Salle went in front 3-2 in the top of the third inning when Kendra Heyer doubled home a run and Megan Hodgson followed with a two-run home run. The game remained a one-run contest until the Explorers and added two insurance runs in the top of the sixth for a 5-2 lead. It was just enough to hold off Villanova, which had more base runners in the game but also stranded 12 runners on base.
Ortega reached on an error to start the bottom of the seventh inning and moved up to second and third on successive groundouts. With two outs in the inning freshman third baseman Stephanie Butler (Barnegat, N.J.) reached on another error which allowed Ortega to score. Sophomore second baseman Briana Fujii (San Jose, Calif.) followed with a walk to put the tying runs on base but Scott induced a groundball out to end the game.
Smetana went 2-for-3 with a run scored and an RBI in the game, while senior right fielder Julie Smith (Dana Point, Calif.) also had two hits. Senior catcher Amanda Marquez (Miami, Fla.) walked twice and scored a run as Villanova finished the game with eight hits, four walks and two hit batters while striking out just twice.
Junior pitcher Kaity Sitzman (Tucson, Ariz.) started and pitched five-plus innings for the Wildcats. She allowed only five hits to the 22 batters she faced while walking one, striking out one and being charged with four earned runs. One of the runs scored after she had left the game in the top of the sixth inning, as Kristin Travers doubled home a run and Liz Reed scored on a passed ball while freshman pitcher Kate Poppe (Downingtown, Pa.) was on the mound. Poppe recorded the final six outs and gave up three hits while allowing one unearned run.
Villanova returns to action on Tuesday afternoon when it plays a single game at Princeton beginning at 4 p.m.