May 4, 2014
VILLANOVA, Pa. - Despite outhitting St. John's (27-22, 12-8 BIG EAST) through seven innings, the Villanova softball team was unable to come through as the Red Storm defeated the Wildcats 4-0 in the season finale Sunday afternoon at the Villanova Softball Complex.
Before the game, Villanova honored head coach Maria DiBernardi with a rose for each of the past 30 seasons she has dedicated her time and commitment to the softball program.
Villanova finishes the season 5-16 in the conference and 18-34 overall. St. John's clinches the two seed in the BIG EAST Tournament as they improve to 12-8 in the league.
Poppe suffers the defeat as she ends a stellar sophomore campaign 13-25 on the bump. The nation's fourth best strikeout pitcher adds four more to her total, ending the year with 284 whiffs. She surrendered four runs with only two of those being earned on four hits in six innings of work.
Tori Free picks up her 12th triumph as the team's ace. The sophomore tossed seven innings and allowed five hits with five strikeouts.
Erin Burner gave St. John's an early lead to begin the game when she hit a two-run shot for her 14th homerun of the season, which moves her to second in the BIG EAST.
In the fourth, the Red Storm tacked on a pair of runs to make it 4-0. Both the runs were unearned as a throwing miscue with two outs extended the inning, which allowed Yvonne Rericha to get up and notch a single up the middle for an RBI.
The Wildcats loaded the bases in the latter half of the fifth when Sierra McConell drew a four pitch walk with Aleshia Ayers and Lauren Herschberg on first and second base. But Free got Natalia Segovia to bounce out to third base to halt the threat.
Senior Kaity Sitzman came into the game during the seventh inning and pitched a flawless frame in the final performance of her career. The righty ends her final season with a 3.45 ERA and four wins.
Fellow senior and team captain Ali Lowe added a hit and a walk in her final game as a Wildcat. The West Palm Beach, Fla. native made a couple of fantastic plays at shortstop to end a couple of innings, including a stab up the middle and throw off her back foot to get MacKenna Neuroth out in the seventh. Lowe played in 191 games with 184 starts manning the infield throughout her career.
Ayers ended her sophomore campaign on a high note going 2-3 at the plate. Junior Ali Angelbello and freshman Chase Snell both tallied hits for Villanova as the future looks bright for the young guns with Lauren Herschberg and Segovia solidifying spots in the infield.