April 9, 2014
PHILADELPHIA, Pa. - Behind a dominating performance by starter Kate Poppe, the Villanova softball team was able to end its five game skid as the Wildcats beat La Salle, 4-0, Wednesday afternoon at the La Salle Softball Field.
Villanova improves to 11-23 on the season and 3-6 away from home. The Explorers fall to 12-14 overall and under .500 at their place.
Poppe picked up her seventh victory of the year on the mound. The sophomore fanned five batters and allowed only five hits in six innings, lowering her ERA to 2.10.
La Salle threatened to begin the top of the first, putting a pair of runners on first and second with only out. Poppe was able to escape the inning unharmed, getting the Explorers leading hitter to chase a ball out of the zone before a pop out too short to retire the side.
For the second-straight inning, Poppe was wild. She walked the bases loaded with one out, but was able to get the next two batters to strikeout and ground out, respectively, to keep the game scoreless.
In the top of the third, Lauren Herschberg drove in her sixth and seventh runs when she smacked a double to left center to put the Wildcats on the board. Aleshia Ayers took an 0-1 fastball down the leftfield line for a double to begin the inning but was tagged out the next at-bat when Ali Lowe grounded out on a fielder's choice. Lowe then stole second and moved to third as Shea Palmer beat out a ball to the second baseman.
After a leadoff walk in the fifth, Michelle Hagerty was a sacrificed over to second on a bunt. Megan Hodgson ripped a single to center to put runners on first and third with one out. Sierra McConnell snagged a liner to right field before Poppe got the next batter to pop out and keep the advantage at two.
Sierra McConnell put Villanova up 4-0 after crushing a two-run shot over the left field wall with Chase Snell on base. The sophomore leads the team with three homeruns on the year.
Kaity Sitzman came in the seventh and closed the door to give Villanova its fourth shutout of the season.
The Wildcats return to the diamond tomorrow when they travel across state lines to battle Rider (3-22) at 3:30 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.