Koller Breaks Home Run Record as Wildcats Sweep Penn
April 13, 2005
PHILADELPHIA, Pa. - Senior first baseman Kari Koller (Rocklin, Calif.) broke the school record for career home runs when she drilled the 23rd of her Main Line stint as the Wildcats went on to defeat Penn, 7-2, in game one of a double header, and 9-0 in five innings for the second game, completing an afternoon sweep on Wednesday at Warren Field. With the sweep, Villanova improves to 27-17 while the Quakers fall to 12-17.
Villanova totaled five home runs and 24 hits on the afternoon and freshman Kat Walsh (Los Angeles, Calif.) logged her first collegiate start and win as she and senior Kristen Haynes (Fairfax, Calif.) combined for a one-hitter in game two to help the Wildcats shutout Penn.
In the top of the first inning of the first game, senior Lisa Krueger (Mission Viejo, Calif.) hit the first home run of the afternoon, a solo shot to put the Wildcats up 1-0.
Koller's record-breaking round tripper came in the top of the second inning when her solo home run put Villanova up, 2-0.
In the top of the fifth inning, the Wildcats would plate five, with four runs coming off senior Allie Wisniewski's (Smithtown, N.Y.) grand slam. Freshman Jackie Dempsey (Lexington, Mass.) walked but was then thrown out on a fielders' choice, which allowed Krueger to reach first. Senior Krissy Yauch (Tucson, Ariz.) singled, which scored Krueger. Koller then singled and freshman Carolyn Brown (Oklahoma City, Okla.), who pinch ran for Koller, stole second. Sophomore Cassie Koenig (Las Vegas, Nev.) loaded the bases when she was hit by a pitch. Senior Allie Wisniewski (Smithtown, N.Y.) then cleared the bases on her team-high seventh home run of the season. At the end of the inning, Villanova led 7-0.
The Quakers scored one run in each of the fifth and sixth innings, one off a solo home run and the other after a runner was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded.
Senior Shannon Williams (Macungie, Pa.) picked up the win, pitching four complete innings and allowing just two hits to go with six strikeouts and no runs. Sophomore Tiffany Ross (Medford, Ore.) pitched two innings, striking out two while allowing just one hit. Haynes pitched the final inning of the first game.
The second game produced 12 more hits and two more home runs as the Wildcats finished off Penn in five innings.
In the first inning, Krueger led off with a single, which was followed by a single from Yauch. Koller then reached on a fielders' choice as Krueger was thrown out a third. Koenig's single scored Yauch and the Wildcats opened the frame with another one-run lead.
Krueger hit her second home run of the day, which was the team's fourth, in the second frame, and scored senior Veronica Alvarez (Miami, Fla.), who had drawn a walk.
Penn's two pitching changes did nothing to affect the Wildcats.
Villanova scored five more runs in the fourth inning, starting with the team's fifth home run, this time from Alvarez. Krueger followed that with a single, as did Yauch. Koller walked on and Koenig's single was good for two RBI as she advanced on the throw and Krueger and Yauch reached home safely. Sophomore Lindsey Martin (Sammamish, Wash.) came in to pinch run for Koenig, and advanced to third on a walk from sophomore Sheri Donley (Orange, Calif.). Senior Sarah Wall (Hollywood, Fla.) reached on a fielders' choice as Koller was thrown out at home. Freshman Jessica Curtis (Yorba Linda, Calif.) singled to bring home Donley and Martin for the final tally of 9-0.
Walsh pitched three innings to pick up the win, allowing just one hit and one walk to go with one strikeout. Haynes pitched the final two innings, striking out four with no hits or walks.
"Today was a great hitting day for us," head coach Maria DiBernardi stated. "It felt good to break out with that many hits and home runs and it will gear us up for this big weekend of conference play. We've been capitalizing on every opportunity that we can, and our pitchers looked sharp today and all did a great job. Going into the weekend with those two great wins will help keep our confidence up as we prepare for Big East play."
Villanova will host Seton Hall on Saturday at noon and St. John's on Sunday at noon for four crucial Big East games. Seton Hall (19-10) currently leads the Big East with its 6-2 record, while the Wildcats and Red Storm (15-21) have two conference wins apiece.