May 1, 2013
NEWARK, Del. - Villanova received superb pitching from freshman Kate Poppe and clutch hitting from senior Amanda Marquez and freshman Shea Palmer here today to sweep a doubleheader from Delaware (32-20 overall).
The Wildcats took the opener by the final count of 2-0 as Poppe allowed only two hits over seven shutout innings. Poppe kept the clamps on the Blue Hens lineup in the second game as well, pitching all seven frames in a 3-1 Villanova triumph.
Villanova improved to 20-29 overall by sweeping its final two non-conference contests of the regular season. The Wildcats will close out the regular season this weekend at home when they host BIG EAST rival St. John's for three games. There will be a Senior Day celebration to honor the Wildcat seniors prior to the doubleheader Saturday that begins at 2:45 p.m. The series will wrap up with a single game on Sunday at noon.
In the opener here today Poppe's pitching kept the Blue Hens under control from start to finish. She permitted a second inning single to Tori Conrad and did not allow another Delaware safety until a Marisa Newman single in the seventh inning. Poppe struck out six Blue Hen batters in Game 1 to claim her 17th win of the season.
The Wildcats picked up eight hits in the opener, including three by Palmer but all of their scoring damage came in the top of the fifth inning. Marquez delivered a one out double to the gap in right center field and Palmer followed that with a triple to left center which scored Marquez. Valerie Ortega then lofted a sacrifice fly into right field which allowed Palmer to score the Wildcats' second run of the day.
It would prove to be more than enough as Villanova closed out its 19th win of the season.
After a scoreless first inning in Game 2, the Wildcats plated three runs in the top of the second inning against pitcher Amanda Stacevicz (5-4).
Julie Smith ignited the rally with a leadoff single for the Wildcats. Palmer then singled through the middle and Sierra McConnell successfully sacrificed the VU base runners into scoring position with one out. Elise Samoy Alvarado came up with an infield single to load the bases with one out.
A Sara Ruiz ground out scored one Villanova run. Marquez followed that with a two run double down the left field line to bring Palmer and Samoy-Alvarado home and stake the Wildcats to a 3-0 edge.
Poppe, meanwhile, kept the Blue Hens bats at bay. Delaware picked up its only run of the day in the sixth with Stacevicz delivering an RBI single. But Poppe left Blue Hen runners stranded at second and third to close out the frame. She then set UD down in order in the bottom of the seventh inning to push her record to 18-21. She allowed a total of just five hits over the 14 innings pitched on this day.
Palmer produced four hits over the course of the doubleheader while Marquez added three of her own.