May 4, 2013
VILLANOVA, Pa. - The St. John's Red Storm used a pair of two out rallies to defeat the Villanova Wildcats 3-0 in the opener of a doubleheader played here today. Tori Free pitched seven shutout innings for the Red Storm (16-34-1, 6-14 BIG EAST) while Carly Williams collected three hits and two runs batted in.
Valerie Ortega delivered two hits for the Wildcats (20-30 overall, 2-18 BIG EAST).
St. John's used a two out rally to score the game's first run in the top of the first inning. An Erin Brunner single was followed by an RBI double by cleanup hitter Jackie Reed off Wildcats starter Kate Poppe to give the Red Storm the early 1-0 lead.
Valerie Ortega gave VU a two-out single of its own but the Wildcats were unable to replicate St. John's first inning and the count was 1-0 in favor of the Red Storm after one frame.
After Poppe set the Red Storm down in the second inning, VU produced a quality scoring chance when Sierra McConnell singled and was sacrificed to second base. Shea Palmer added another single and the `Cats had runners at the corners with two down. But Red Storm pitcher Tori Free got Taylor Olafson on a ground out and St. John's retained its edge.
The Red Storm used another two out rally in the fourth to tack on two more runs. Ellen Czurba reached on a Wildcat throwing error and moved up when Mackenna Neuroth singled. Carly Williams then delivered an RBI double, one of her three hits in Game 1, to plate Czurba and Neuroth and extend the lead to 3-0.
Free, meanwhile, kept the Wildcats offense in check, allowing only one single off the bat of Ortega over her final five innings of work.
Kaity Sitzman tossed three shutout innings in relief of Poppe, who exited after four innings.
Prior to today's game, Villanova honored its five seniors who will graduate later this month: pitcher Adrienne Drummond; catcher Amanda Marquez; infielder Taylor Olafson; first baseman Valerie Ortega and catcher Julie Smith.