April 21, 2012
VILLANOVA, Pa. - Villanova (28-20, 2-12) fell behind and struggled to get their bats going against St. John's (17-30, 5-9) as they lost the finale 5-1 to end the weekend series. The Wildcats had five hits in the game and were led by freshman second baseman Briana Fujii who had an RBI double in the seventh inning.
In a rematch of yesterday's first game of the series, Ashley Beza and senior Caitlyn Delahaba toed the mound for their teams again looking to win the rubber match of the series and both pitchers came out throwing well with 1-2-3 innings in the first.
In the top of the second, Kacee Cox led off with a double and advanced to third on an errant throw by sophomore shortstop Ali Lowe off the bat of Kristi Cady. Red Storm first baseman Jackie Reed then stepped in and hit a 2-run double to the left-center gap to give St. John's a 2-0 lead. After Reed advanced to third on a groundout, Delahaba struck out her third and fourth batters on the day to retire the side. Beza was settling in for the Red Storm as she set down the Wildcats in order for the second consecutive inning.
In the third, St. John's added to their lead when Chrissy Montez hit her second home run of the double header, this one a solo shot to left center field as the Red Storm now led 3-0. Back-to-back two out singles put runners on the corners, but Delahaba got a pop out to end the inning with the Wildcats down by three. Villanova had their first base runner of the day with a one-out walk from freshman second baseman Briana Fujii, but she was stranded there after a strikeout and groundout ended the inning.
Delahaba allowed two one-out base runners in the fourth, but she got a fielder's choice and her fifth strikeout of the day to get out of the jam. In the bottom of the inning, Beza continued to pitch well as she retired the side in order for the third time.
In the fifth, St. John's tacked on a couple insurance runs to build a comfortable cushion. The Red Storm loaded the bases on a two singles and an error with one out when third baseman Juila Sanchez hit a bloop single to left center field to score two runs to push the Red Storm advantage to 5-0 through four and a half innings.
In the bottom of the fifth, the Wildcats got their first hit with a two-out single to right by junior catcher Amanda Marquez, but the inning ended when Fujii fouled out.
Sophomore relief pitcher Kaity Sitzman came on to replace Delahaba (15-12) who went five innings surrendering four earned runs on nine hits while striking out 5 (636 career) and walking none. Sitzman got two quick outs but the Red Storm loaded the bases on the strength of two hits and a walk. Jackie Reed then hit a ball deep in the hole at shortstop and Lowe scooped it up with the back hand and tossed it over to third base to get the runner and keep the deficit at 5-0.
The Wildcats mounted their best rally of the day in the bottom of the sixth when senior center fielder Jamie O'Hara singled up the middle with one out and moved to second base on a single to left field by junior first baseman Valerie Ortega. With two outs, senior third baseman Kristi Burlin stepped in and struck a line drive to right field, but it hung up in the air as Kelsey Moyer came in to make the catch and the third out of the inning.
Sitzman pitched her third shutout inning of relief in the top of the seventh to give the Wildcats one last chance in their final at bat. In the seventh, senior designated player Molly Manning led off the inning with a single. After two quick outs, Fujii hit an RBI double to center field that scored freshman pinch runner Kera Pezzuti to trim the lead to 5-1. Senior pinch hitter Shannon O'Brien then came on to keep the game going, but she lined out to third base as St. John's had won the game and the series.
Villanova will stay in conference play when they travel to Georgetown this Wednesday for a doubleheader.