April 23, 2013
VILLANOVA, Pa. - Junior pitcher Kaity Sitzman (Tucson, Ariz.) has been pitching quite well of late but her best effort came on Tuesday afternoon when she went the distance for a 3-0 win at the Villanova Softball Complex, where Villanova (16-26) salvaged a split with Temple (22-21) in the second game of a doubleheader. Sitzman (1-5, 2.99 ERA) recorded her first win of the season while pitching her second career complete game and first shutout.
All three of the runs in the game scored in the bottom of the fifth inning and Sitzman balanced excellent control with great defense behind her to get the win. She walked just one and struck out four while scattering seven hits, all of which were harmless singles. In the top of the sixth inning the Owls put runners and second and third with one out but Sitzman got her counterpart - Temple pitcher Kelsey Dominik - to line into a double play to end the inning.
The defense for the Wildcats turned a season high three double plays in the game and junior shortstop Ali Lowe (West Palm Beach, Fla.) started all of them in consecutive innings from the fourth through the sixth. Sitzman retired the side in order in the top of the seventh to finish out the game.
Senior first baseman Valerie Ortega (Ventura, Calif.) went 2-for-3 senior catcher Amanda Marquez (Miami, Fla.) and Lowe each doubled and had both a run scored and a run batted in at the top of the lineup. Freshman center fielder Shea Palmer (Scottsdale, Ariz.) also had a hit and a run scored.
The game was scoreless until the bottom of the fifth inning thanks in part to Lowe, who turned 6-6-3 double plays in both the fourth and fifth innings. After two infield hits started the top of the fourth inning Leah Lucas hit a hard grounder towards Lowe, who fielded the ball on the run and stepped on second base before throwing to first. Sitzman followed by striking out Devynne Nelons to end the inning and strand a runner a third.
In the top of the fifth inning there was a runner at second with one out after a single and a sacrifice bunt. Ali Robinson grounded a ball to shortstop and Lowe alertly tagged the runner going from second to third before making the throw to first to end the inning. In the top of the sixth inning Dominik lined a ball directly at Lowe, who made the catch and stepped on second for another inning-ending twin killing.
The only offense needed by Villanova to support Sitzman came unexpectedly in the bottom of the fifth inning after there were two outs and nobody on. Palmer started a rally with an infield hit and Marquez doubled into the left field corner to drive in Palmer and give the Wildcats a 1-0 lead. Lowe doubled to center field to bring home Marquez, moved up to third on a relay throw to the plate and scored one batter later on an errant pickoff attempt by the catcher.
Dominik (10-4, 3.67 ERA) allowed five hits and three runs (two earned) in six innings, while walking two and striking out just one. Stephanie Pasquale had two hits to lead the Owls offensively.