Four Run Third Inning Sails Wildcats Past Pirates
April 22, 2014
VILLANOVA, Pa. - Four runs on three hits in the bottom of the third inning was all the run support Kate Poppe needed as the sophomore ace helped push Villanova to victory over Seton Hall 4-3 to salvage the three-game series against the Pirates Tuesday afternoon at the Villanova Softball Complex.
The Wildcats improve to 17-26 on the season and 5-10 in conference with only two conference series' remaining. The Pirates fall to 14-29 overall and 8-7 in the BIG EAST, which puts them in tie with Georgetown for second place.
Kate Poppe goes the distance for the 17th time, earning her 12th win in the process. The sophomore righty allowed three runs on seven hits and finished with six strikeouts to add to her total, which ranks seventh in the NCAA.
Daniel Destaso suffers the loss and moves back down to .500 (7-7). The junior right hander surrendered four runs, three earned on three hits in six innings of work.
Villanova came through with timely hits and took advantage of some miscues to take a 4-1 lead in the bottom of the third inning. After the first three runners reached with no outs, Daniel Destaso pegged Lauren Herschberg with the bases loaded to tie the game at 1-1. Shea Palmer and Chase Snell then ripped back-to-back singles up the middle for a run apiece. Next at-bat Sierra McConnell drove in her team-high 20th run of the season on a groundball to the shortstop.
Alex Rabbetts cut the deficit in half in the fifth when she took an 0-1 fastball over the left centerfield fence for her second homerun of the year.
Despite putting runners on second and third base with one out in the top of the sixth, Poppe buckled down and showed her poise. The sophomore registered a fly out to right field before a sky fly to center to keep the lead intact.
Rabbetts made it interesting with her second solo shot of the game to lead off the seventh inning and make it a one run game. Poppe showed why she is one of the best pitchers in the conference, forcing three of the next four batters to fly outs to capture the seventh win for Villanova in its past 11 games.
Palmer and Snell both went 1-3 at the plate with an RBI. Herschberg scored and recorded an RBI at the lead off slot, where she has excelled filling in for senior captain Ali Lowe. Butler added a hit and came around to score as well.
The Wildcats will be back in action tomorrow as they host a doubleheader against visiting Lafayette at the Villanova Softball Complex. First pitch is set for 3 p.m. and will serve as Villanova's annual SCORE FOR THE CURE game. Donations can be made at the field and all proceeds will benefit the American Cancer Foundation.
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.